Penguins, a girl feeding pigeons in Arequipa, Wooly and Raeski in Lima, llamas in San Pedro de Atacama, and a young mountain goat sticking close to mom in Rocky Mountain Natl. Park.
There must be a party close by. Everyone looks like they are dressed for a black tie event. You know, a formal affair with the printed invitations and all. But we crashed the party and had a lot of fun even if we weren’t dressed to the nines. And with that, we checked off another item on the bucket list. We traveled to the end of the world and watched penguins in their natural habitat.
If you’ve seen them on television or in a movie – know this – they are even more adorable and mesmerizing in person. Athletes in the water and not so much on land which may be why we love them so much. Their awkwardness on land completely belies the power and grace they possess in the water.
We feel fortunate to have seen them in person. Sadly, as with many animals, the penguins are suffering from global warming. Of the 18 species of penguins, 11 are declining in population and considered an extinction risk, two are considered stable and we don’t have enough data on the other five. Magellanic are at risk because they breed in warmer areas and are susceptible to sunburn.
My hide gets chaffed when I see these magnificent creatures threatened by something we can do something about. When 97% of scientists believe global warming is caused by man, you just have to wonder about the 3% who aren’t. Back in the days of tobacco, 5% of scientists – funded by the tobacco industry – didn’t believe smoking was bad for you. I have ceased calling these people climate change deniers or skeptics. I believe the proper term for them should be CLIMATE DISINFORMATION PROPOGANDISTS (CDP).
Back in the 1980’s we did something about the hole in the ozone layer over the objections of industries that profited from manufacturing and using fluorocarbons. Do we miss the jobs that were lost back then? Or were those jobs really replaced with others that were more environmentally sound?
Anyway, the results are in. We have succeeded and the ozone layer is rebuilding and the hole is shrinking. If we choose to listen to reason and science and then act, we may be able to turn back the tide. Hopefully the human race will wake up and see through the lies of the CDP’s and demand we take action.
And the penguins? We could watch them for hours. Waddling about on land, swimming, wading (yes, they do that) and greeting each other as they stroll by each other. Most of the penguins we saw were Magellanic with the exception of one Gentoo penguin. He is the handsome fellow with the bright orange beak. Enjoy the photos.