I’ve spent the last few weeks writing a script I’ve been dreading for years.
The story of the Passenger Pigeon is a terrifying omen, a nightmarish slow-motion car accident unraveling in front of our eyes. Hindsight is so clear with this issue that it seems nauseatingly preventable - I say this from my position a hundred years in the future. But the reality of this story is that because of human impact, interference, over-hunting and trapshooting, within the span of 4 decades the population of these birds diminished from a booming 3.7 billion individuals to near extinction. They were shot, netted, poisoned, smoked out, burned up, prodded, intoxicated, left to starve, and otherwise eradicated in every sense of the word. It’s a tough reality to face.
We’ll be uploading this video in a few weeks, but I wanted to give you all a heads up to check out this book by Joel Greenberg; A Feathered River Across the Sky was my primary source of information for our upcoming episode. The amount of care and attention to detail Greenberg gave in writing this work is tangible; I had to set it down on more than one occasion to catch my breath and clear my head. The toughest part of reading the book is realizing we are still doing this today, but our excess is no longer isolated to one charismatic species.
It’s time we wake up.