Friday, May 18, 2007

Displaced Intentions

Most of us understand the concept of "fight-or-flight" as it applies to animal behavior. Well, there is a third way, although it's not a really effective one. It's called displacement behavior. It's sort of a shutdown, really, although I suppose in some cases it could work in the favor of the displacer by thoroughly confusing the attacker. It's what happens when an animal, confronted with a fight-or-flight situation, chooses neither of those options. It instead does something completely pointless--say, sitting down and commencing to wash itself.

I bring this up because I think I'm beginning to see displacement behavior manifest among the most vocal of the Global Warming doomsayers. Perhaps the stress of impending disaster has taken its toll. Seriously, if you were convinced that we had only ten years to save ourselves, would you be going about trying to persuade people you were right using these methods?

Greenpeace (yes, that Greenpeace) has launched a project building a Noah's Ark replica on Mount Ararat in Turkey, according to CBS News. The purpose of the project is to "appeal to world leaders to take action against global warming." I'm a little shocked--I really always thought of the Greenpeace folks as a little smarter than this. Stark raving mad, trying to take on Soviet whalers in rubber rafts, true--but nonetheless, smarter than this.

On the brighter side, I think we've now found a tie for Stupidest Environmental Idea with Al Gore's Live Earth plans: "The earth is warming up, and we'll soon be past the Point of No Return...I know what we can do! Kids...let's put on a SHOW!!!"

(Hat tip:Dr. Jim West)
A funny quote from Paul Greenberg about a participant in a protest against his newspaper's editorial board. A good reminder to us all that when you aren't sure what it means look it up, ask somebody more knowledgeable, or for Pete's sake don't use it!

But the strangest part of the protest was provided by the courageous soul who said she'd talk only Off the Record. That's right: She was taking part in a news conference to speak off the record. There's something charming, or at least mystifying, about that concept. It's one of those prize non sequiturs you want to save for your collection. It sounds like something Yogi Berra or Casey Stengel might have said in public when they chose not to say anything in public.
Yard eco: A feeder first in the backyard last week--a very handsome pair of Goldfinches in full breeding regalia! The cardinal fledges, including our kid from the backyard, are now in flight plumage visiting the feeders with their parents and getting around the trees ably. Anoles all over the place--a moderate-sized male was flashing his dewlap on top of the mailbox post a couple of days ago.

Garden: Tomatoes over a foot tall. Been getting radishes for the last few weeks. The bunny really likes the tops. No luck with onions, but it looks like we may get some beets before summer if it doesn't get too hot too fast. Something ate holes in the pepper leaves. 1 pumpkin vine (from last fall's pie pumpkin) and 1 zucchini vine getting quite large. Need to find a lettuce that will do well here. Trying 2 cuke varieties with limited success thus far. Two of my three vines are in a pot so perhaps we can avoid the bitterness problem we had last year.

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Anonymous desmond said...

Yes, for how many times our parents keeps reminding us that we must not touch/fix anything inside our house or school we are completely no knowledge about or the thing might get even worse!

I think I get it now.

3:08 AM  

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