Gonzaga Bulletin


This article was printed in the Gonzaga Bulletin on Friday, February 15, 2002 under the headline "Wetlands pose environmental risk."

Wetlands Kill People

It is time for common sense and truth in environmental policy. Radical environmentalists claim that wetlands are a vital resource and must be protected at any cost. But what are wetlands really? Even the EPA quietly admits that they really are just swamps, marshes, and bogs. The term "wetland" conjures up images of streams and ponds and ducks, when in reality these swamps are a muddy breeding ground for disease and pestilence. This whole "wetlands" nonsense is just sugarcoated propaganda. Compared to Swamp Thing, how frightening could "Wetlands Thing" possibly be?

Before yellow fever was finally tied to mosquitoes, it plagued the United States from the Deep South to New York City every year. In 1878, a yellow fever epidemic killed over 13,000 people in the lower Mississippi Valley. The French failed to complete the Panama Canal because yellow fever and malaria killed so many of their workers that they could not continue. By the time the canal opened under American control, 30,000 people had died – ten times the number incinerated on September 11th. During the Spanish-American War, fought mostly in the jungles (now "rainforests") of Cuba, yellow fever killed five times more American soldiers than combat. Ultimately, draining and fumigating swamps solved the problem.

The theoretical biodiversity of the world's jungles may not be the blessing that environmentalists hope for. While some undiscovered moth might contain the cure for cancer, it will most likely unleash the next Ebola or bubonic plague. Slash and burn farming is probably the most efficient way to sanitize these deadly jungles – jungles containing millions of undiscovered species of rats, mosquitoes, and bacteria.

You might also think that those giant geese in the swampy fields down by the river are just innocent, harmless wildlife – despite the fact that they could easily chase down and eat a small child. You would be wrong. Early on, some experts suggested that a kamikaze goose could have caused the November 12th crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in New York City. They have since dismissed the possibility in this particular case, but are we willing to keep taking the risk? I for one will never feel safe again when I look out the window of a jet and see a goose flying alongside.

If environmental policies in the United States continue to rigidly advocate “wetlands,” the death toll will be catastrophic. Mysterious West Nile virus outbreaks in New York may very well be the beginning.