When the Canaries Die
CANARIES are more sensitive to poisonous gases than are humans. For this reason, in times past coal miners would carry a caged canary into the mine as a means to detect the presence of dangerous gases. Alerted by the death of the canary, miners could escape the danger until the mine was properly ventilated. With this background in mind, one can better understand the comments made by Dr. David Suzuki, a renowned scientist in Canada.
Concerned with the seemingly imminent death of our planet Earth, he used the following illustration: “When a coal-miner took a canary in the coal-mine and the canary fell over, the coal-miner didn’t say, ‘Oh, that bird just died but I’m not a bird.’ The canary fell over because it was sharing the same air.”
He then added: “When you see 22 Beluga whales dying in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and they’re so full of toxic chemicals you have to wear gloves and a mask to touch them, when people tell us that the maple sugar forest in Quebec will be dead in ten years, when people tell us that two species an hour are going extinct and 10,000 seals died in the North Sea and they don’t know why, surely . . . those are canaries and if we think we’re not in the same environment as those organisms, we’re nuts.”
Dr. Suzuki bemoans the fact that politicians pay little or no attention to these “canaries” and will not see the seriousness of the situation until children begin to die in large numbers. He says: “So are we going to let our children be our canaries?”
True Christians, though concerned, do not despair. Jehovah, the Creator of the earth, “who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited,” will not allow shortsighted, greedy men to continue ravaging our environment indefinitely. In his Word, the Bible, he promises “to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.”—Isaiah 45:18; Revelation 11:18.