Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010



We here at the DUNER-BLOG worry about things that other people don't. We stay up late at night worrying about that postman in Calgary who was viciously attacked by a family of hawks on her remote route. (They even broke her bicycle helmet! But she's doing fine.) We're also concerned about the vulcanologist in Sumatra who is gravely ill after inhaling ash and fumes from the surprise eruption of Mt. Sinabung. (He too is recovering well!) So it comes as no surprise that everyone at the DUNER-BLOG is completely ENRAGED over the merciless slaughter of man's closest relatives in the Eastern Congo. WE NEED TO SAVE THE CHIMPS!!!

Sorry...I got a little carried away there...but we do have a serious problem brewing in Central Africa. The so-called "Democratic Republic of the Congo" is a gigantic nation with ginormous problems. The DRC ranks 12th in the world in size. With a whopping 71 million people, it now ranks 18th on the world population charts. On the other side, the Congo has the second lowest GDP per capital of all IMF nations. People earn about $200 a year. That doesn't leave a lot of money for good food. So people eat whatever they can. And the easiest thing to catch and eat is a chimpanzee. SOMEONE NEEDS TO HELP THE CHIMPS!!!

But aren't chimps protected? Sure, but a law is only good when it is enforced, which has never happened in the Congo. Uh-oh! It's time for another DUNER-BLOG HISTORY LESSON! Here we go: Until 1850, aside from a couple of crazy-ass English explorers, no white people ever ventured very deep into the jungles of Africa. Hence, much of the Congo lay unclaimed when BELGIUM arrived very late in the colonial free-for-all of the 1800's. They hired SIR HENRY STANLEY (Livingstone was busy) to explore the massive area and claim everything he saw for Belgium. He did an amazing job. The BELGIAN CONGO was now on the map. Let the plundering begin! For the next 50 years, King Leopold enslaved locals to produce rubber and mine for diamonds. When Zaire became independent in 1960, all 100,000 Europeans instantly fled. For the last 50 years, the DR Congo (the nation has changed its name six times) has wallowed in civil war and anarchy. SO THERE IS NO ONE THE HELP THE CHIMPS!!!

Indeed, and as poverty spreads, people become more and more desperate for food. In the outdoor markets, BUSH MEAT is becoming more and more common. Poachers venture into the plentiful rain forests with high-tech American-made rifles and pluck off the peaceful chimps like shooting practice. Just how bad is it? A researcher from the University of Amsterdam, CLEVE HICKS recently reported the the LONDON GUARDIAN about his startling discoveries in the Eastern Congo. Having made many trips over the past couple of decades to observe the primates, he couldn't help but notice an alarming increase in the number of orphaned chimps in the last year. He looked but found no bones or carcasses of corresponding adults. In search of an answer, he inquired in the local town and quickly found the answer. The fifty adult chimp carcasses were right there, behind the outdoor market. IT WAS TOO LATE TO HELP THE CHIMPS!!!

Hundreds of years from now, historians will look back at the year 2010 and wonder. In the year 1810 or 1910, it was understandable why poachers were allowed to drive certain animal species to extinction...science was still in its infancy. But in 2010, when everyone understood that EXTINCTION IS FOREVER, they still ignored vital signs and let the earth deteriorate. These historians will look at the news headlines on Sept. 14, 2010 and will understand why we let the Chimps die. LADY GAGA WON EIGHT MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS!!!

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