One thing leads to another

6-25 Page 4A.inddGlobal warming has so many far-reaching effects that just listing them is almost impossible.

The sad thing is many people with the authority to address the problem are blinded by concerns, largely to do with profit and loss, that encourage denial and defensiveness.

When big problems aren’t addressed, they lead to others.

For example, due to the fact that we’ve had some milder winters, there have been bumper crops of acorns. Why is this a problem?

Bumper crops of acorns lead to bumper crops of squirrels. Why is this a problem?

Bumper crops of squirrels are damaging trees and buildings on the campus of Clemson University.

Why is this a problem? Wiring and structures being damaged and trees being affected have to be repaired, treated or replaced.

And this is a problem because of the continued expense.

What is the solution?

Well, since the problem of global warming isn’t being comprehensively addressed, the solution at this time has been to use birth control on the university squirrels.

Apparently scientists have found that reducing levels of cholesterol in squirrels during their reproductive cycle renders them unable to produce the hormone necessary to allow procreation.

There’s an article about it in National Geographic, the Post and Courier and other publications, although this is an abbreviated version of an extensive experimental scientific study.

The drug controlling the squirrel cycle is fed to them in designated feeders across campus, which are filled with sunflower seeds laced with the substance. The seeds are pink. After some time goes by, the dye in the seeds turns the squirrels’ stomachs pink. This is one way scientist know that squirrels are eating the seeds.

This project is expensive, but deemed necessary by the powers that be. The estimated expense has been said to be about $40 per squirrel.

In Pickens County, where Clemson University is located, there are now hundreds of schoolchildren who are homeless. Teachers fill backpacks with food for hungry children to eat over weekends when there’s no food available at home.

Clemson is a state university. However state financial support of the state’s university system has been lacking. This has led to staggering increases in tuition. In fact, tuition has been increasing steadily over the years to the point where it is no longer affordable to many of the families the university was created to serve.

And students who borrow the money to pay graduate with staggering debt they must spend years repaying.

There are families in this county who rely heavily on wild game as a food supply. People still kill and eat deer, bear, doves and duck. They also kill and eat squirrels.

Pardon me for being inhumane, but why not just kill the squirrels? That would work out to a lot less than $40 per squirrel. Maybe there’s a sensible explanation for this. I just don’t know what it may be. People, you need to get your priorities in order.