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National Aquarium

I just returned from a trip to Annapolis, Maryland while on family business. We spent a few hours going through the National Aquarium in Baltimore. If you go, be prepared to be inundated with environmental propaganda.

The first thing you’re told is that the waters in Baltimore harbor are connected to the Chesapeake Bay, which are connect to the Atlantic Ocean and all the other oceans. It’s just one ocean--The Ocean.

A little later we walked into the jelly fish section which has a lead title of "Invasive Species." Apparently these animals are riding on ships and invading habitats all over the world. So it’s not really just "The Ocean," but many separate environments. (Jelly fish amaze me. Their motion is very mesmerizing--at least the larger ones.)

They also are branching out to topical forests/rainforests (you can walk through a simulated Australian jungle/rainforest). One visitor claimed loudly that x acres (I don’t remember the actual number) of rainforest were disappearing every day. If she hadn’t drawn my attention to a rainforest "fact" display, I might have missed the countdown clock.

Environmentalists love doomsday countdown clocks. They are very dramatic, but misleading. I should have taken a picture of the display, but I was trying to suppress my laughter.

They make these clocks by estimating the amount of "something" (in this case rainforest size) and then estimating how fast they think that "something" is disappearing. Then the clock is just a straight-line countdown to zero. The impression is that some computer is measuring the actual numbers, but it’s just more propaganda.

This is something else we can trace back to E.O. Wilson’s flawed island-species-loss extrapolation.

For example:
"In the eastern United States during the first 300 years of European settlement, woodlands were broken up into fragments, none larger than 1 to 2 percent of the original vast forest, but only three forest birds became extinct--the Carolina parakeet, the passenger pigeon, and the ivory-billed woodpecker. Moreover, habitat loss probably did not play the major role in their demise: The parakeet and the pigeon were hunted to death."

We did enjoy the dolphin show.