When I hear people compare avian mortality levels at wind and solar projects to the number of birds killed by domestic cats, I hear an insensitive and illogical comparison. One death toll used to excuse the tolerance of even more deaths. If that argumentation is how we plan to reason through future human actions, we are in for a very depressing and morally-deprived future.
To illustrate just how illogical this argumentation is, imagine telling Amnesty International that its efforts to advance peace are meaningless because the United States saves more lives through war. There is only one correct path, and if you’re not supportive of that path, you’re wrong and your input is not welcome. Or imagine someone arguing that examining and criticizing the loss of life in Ferguson is not worth discussing because there are bigger issues at hand. That’s what the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) broadcast on Thursday in a subsequently retracted Tweet (below).
A broader arena of injustice and crisis certainly exists, but our limited attention span and slogan-filled political system sometimes encourages un-principled comparisons and trade-offs. However, that should not excuse us from working on the local level to advance sustainability and care for the living beings around us.
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