Re: Overabundant Canada goose population has CRD looking for solutions (Online, May 19)
“First, do no harm,” said Hippocrates, yet sometimes we rely on expert wisdom that creates more harm than good.
A total of 1,289 Canadian goose eggs addled, as the Capital Regional District decides the native goose population has grown too much – a “goose action plan” is necessary. Could this be another case of humans micromanaging where they shouldn’t? Is there a better way than outright destruction? Further down the line, experts are frequently surprised when mitigation efforts create more significant problems.
Recent news headlines are classic examples: Sooke traffic is “far beyond what anyone could have anticipated,” according to the district after we agreed to build hundreds of units without jobs to support the residents. “Youth violence a growing concern” after we shut down schools for a pandemic with virtually no health impact on children.
But lack of foresight is nothing new. Johns Hopkins Universitty estimates that medical error is the third leading cause of death in the U.S.,. Electric vehicle sales soar as we try to save the planet, although manufacturing and disposal have a higher environmental impact than conventional vehicles. Soon we may have a national digital ID system to access government services. What could go wrong?
1,289 eggs could have fed a lot of people. Harvesting geese and having an annual goose cookout could bring a community together, or maybe geese could be used as fertilizer. Why squander a resource when there is an abundance? Can we say with certainty that these efforts will do no harm?
As humans evolve as a species, we are creating unique innovations and learning to be responsible for our environment, but we would be wise to remember the words of Hippocrates.