By LARRY WOODY
I came across a story the other day that said our Totoabas are in trouble.
I assumed a Totoaba is some sort of foreign automobile that is being recalled due to faulty engineering that could result in such minor inconveniences as the gas tank exploding when the windshield wipers are activated.
But that wasn't it at all. The Totoaba in question is a rare marine creature that resembles a squat, flabby, pug-nosed porpoise. Or Rosie O'Donnell.
The Totoaba is apparently being pursued to the brink of extinction for its "swim bladder," which can bring up to $4,000 a pound.
The story didn't explain what a "swim bladder" is used for, but we can assume it is for something vital, like waxing Kim Kardashian's eyebrows.
I read on, and suddenly there was the kicker: the root cause of the Totoaba's demise is (naturally) Global Warming.
Global Warming has caused the waters in which the Totoaba live to become colder in recent years, prompting the aquatic Rosie to swim closer to the surface where it can be easily netted.
I know what you're thinking: how does Global WARMING make the water COLDER?
I assume the same way that Global Warming keeps causing all the record-breaking cold spells that are sweeping the nation (50 below in Fargo last week.) If Global Warming keeps this up, we'll all freeze to death.
Back to the endangered Totoaba: The author claims that we are to blame for its woes. By "we" he means humans like you, me and Millard Fillmore.
The article notes the wide range of other animals and plants that are endangered, and says we are responsible for their plight, too.
Never mind that your and I personally have never whacked a single Passenger Pigeon or backed over a Dodo bird in the driveway. (I can't speak for Millard Fillmore.) Yet we're somehow to blame for their demise.
Granted, we humans are responsible for a lot of the planet's problems (what were we thinking when we gave Mookie her own TV show?) But that doesn't mean we're to blame for the plight of the Totoaba, the Dodo or the Spay-Toed Mongolian Tree Sloth (I made that last one it up, just to see if I could get it on the Endangered Species List.)
Dinosaurs are the poster boys for endangered species. They once roamed the earth in great numbers, like Encyclopedia salesmen, then overnight (in geo-terms) they all croaked.
What caused the big fellows to abruptly exit the stage? Nobody knows for sure. But they most certainly weren't hunted to extinction by man, or fell victim to man-made climate change.
Carbon emissions from Caveman Org's campfire didn't cause the earth to over-heat and melt the glaciers. And Org didn't over-hunt the dinosaurs because -- how's this for an air-tight alibi, Columbo? -- he wasn't even on the planet.
I'm not convinced that we humans deserve blame for the plight of many of our survival-challenged fellow creatures. Who can explain the mysteries of Natural Selection -- why dinosaurs died out, yet Kardashians continue to multiply?
Sometimes, to coin a scientific phrase, stuff happens.