Letter: Looking at life through virtual reality headsets

There are lots of facts we just know without question, so don’t question them, damn it: Everyone with a pulse should vote. Democrats are for the little guy. All babies are cute. No species should go extinct.

Wait. What about the millions (billions?) of already extinct species? Are we worse off without T Rex? Two pound mosquitoes? Do you lie awake nights missing megalodon?

So how come we’re willing to do without a dam to save a snail-darter? (A what?) We allow old growth forest to burn down without proper maintenance to protect a spotted owl. Ever see one? I’ve worked, hunted, fished, and hiked in the woods for the best part of a century without seeing one. There’ve been more authenticated Bigfoot sightings than of spotted owls.

Does dragging out or preventing the construction of power plants, bridges, or transportation projects make us happier than assuring the security of the red-legged frog? If so, how? Does the frog care if he goes extinct, or is he more worried about where the next bug dinner is coming from?

“We’re saving them for our children.” Really? Has your kid been out communing with nature lately? If he ever sees a polar bear, it will be in a zoo, or, coming soon, through holograms or a virtual reality headset.

That’s their future. Your grandchildren will be in the Congo swimming with crocodiles or bare-back riding a mastodon wearing virtual reality glasses. Forcing them to actually play outside will be considered child abuse.

— Jack McWherter, Cherokee 

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