Passenger Pigeon centenary looms

Here’s a piece by me in today’s Guardian about the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon.

They slightly mangled the ending (Grrrr!) So here’s the original version  of the penultimate paragraph.

‘And I can’t see that we would be worse off if the US had kept the Passenger Pigeon and more of its forests, and the Bison and more of its prairies. The US would still have put a man on the Moon, it would still be the most powerful nation on Earth and the wages of a waitress in Ohio would not be a cent lower if we had saved a lot more of the natural beauty that was squandered through ignorance and greed in the late nineteenth century. Economically and socially we would not be worse off – ecologically we would be better off.’


A Message from Martha


5 Replies to “Passenger Pigeon centenary looms”

  1. WE cut our trees down and lost species but fortunately we are close to Europe so none became extinct. If you read the book you would know the bird was domed any way!

  2. ‘They slightly mangled the ending’ – well, it was the Grauniad, what did you expect?

    1. At least the Grauniad have actually marked the centenary – the rest of our illustrious fourth estate appear to have ignored it.

  3. Great piece and nice to see it illustrated with the beautiful Audubon painting. Will Birds of America be open at Plate 62 in Liverpool today?

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