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Who to Believe?

Oregroanian June 16, 2007 page B7: An article titled —The silence you hear is birds. . . disappearing—. This article is written by Michael Milstein of the Oregonian. It starts off with an apparent statement made by an article in the June 7 edition of Nature magazine “NATURE Many have declined by at least 50% since the 1960’s, due to development , pesticides and cats.” The actual article never makes that statement and nowhere does it discuss the relationship between development, pesticides or cats.

The article in nature does make the statement that “A continent-wide analysis suggests that West Nile virus has severely affected bird populations associated with human habitats in North America.” (Nature Magazine volume 447, June 7, 2007, page 652.)

The entire article in Nature magazine addresses the effects of the west Nile virus on bird population. The point of the article is really on the spread of the virus, which is killing humans, pets and other vertebrates beside birds. The connection is that birds travel between individual wetlands carrying the virus with them and thereby spreading it to uninfected mosquitoes which then bite more birds and the cycle continues.

The connection discussed in the article is the connection between wetlands, mosquitoes and birds. Both the number of birds and the number of wetlands has increased due to environmental pressure.

Those environmentalist, that pushed for increasing wetlands were apparently unaware that mosquito borne diseases was the reason that wetlands were reduced 100 years ago. One question is, was the environmental policy to build more wetlands a sound idea? But, the more basic question here, is can you trust what the Oregroanian, Portland’s only daily newspaper, prints as being the truth?



E Geese

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