Global warming, rising seas, epidemic opioid use, earthquakes from oil drilling, blue-green algae, Zika virus, Ebola, Lyme disease, tidal waves, tornados, radiation leaks, autism, building collapses, drought, famine, pesticide poisonings, graft and corruption, suicide bombers, ISIS, the Taliban, and a passel of other afflictions have hit mankind in the new century with no letup in sight.
If you paid attention to the news in February and March, you may know about the resurgence, at least locally, of one of the rarest of whales, the North Atlantic right whale, in New England coastal waters.
Some people say that we on the South Fork are going to hell in a handbasket. We look across the Peconics and see mostly green fields of grapes, vegetables, and other produce. Here most of the farmland is up for grabs, but thankfully that wonderful organization, the Peconic Land Trust, is out there grabbing. It is not only keeping viable farmland in production, it is revitalizing farm plots that have long stood dormant and recruiting young farmers, mostly the sons and daughters of old farmers, to make the land fertile once more. In a way, it’s the same way with fishermen.
Hermaphrodites are animals, mostly invertebrates, that can reproduce sexually without performing the act of sex. Each individual is capable of producing both eggs and sperm. The obvious advantage is that a single individual can give rise to an entire population. The disadvantage is that all the offspring are clones; the advantages of crossbreeding different genotypes, which often produces stronger individuals and new forms, are lost.
We have been defacing our 30 percent at an ever-increasing pace ever since the industrial revolution ramped up in the mid-1800s. Our factories and our wars are collectively changing the landscape overnight.
The southern pine borer that has been devastating pitch pine trees in the Central Pine Barrens including in Westhampton and Hampton Bays, leaving pitch pines mere skeletons from Long Island Sound to the Great South Bay next to the ocean.