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Species I Can Do Without

This week’s long-winded Friday Five is mine:

In the depths of a dream, a voice speaks unto you:

Little one! Little one!

You’re not sure who it is, but it doesn’t occur to you to ask. so you just listen.

Listen, I haven’t been to earth in a long time, but I have some good data here that suggests unless five species are made extinct, the whole planet will simply shut down within a week. I haven’t visited in a long time, and you humans seem the closest thing to sentients on Earth. I need your help. Doesn’t matter which species, it’s a mathematical problem, not a pragmatic problem! That means any species will do. What can you do without?

Who is this? God? Some other long-lost deity? The Demiurge? Maybe an alien wildlife preserve officer responsible for this corner of the Milky Way? You can’t be sure, and this may just be a dream, but just the same, it might be a good idea to make some suggestions. Which five species would you nominate for extinction, for the sake of the rest of all life on Earth? Remember, if you don’t answer, it may just be a dream… or you may be refusing to save the majority of life on Earth. And yes, the definition of “species” for this question is more fluid than we might imagine. (I’d include viruses and so on.)

Oh my God. What made me ask this question in the first place? Okay, let’s see, what creatures do I think we could do without?

It’s a tough question. Obviously, the die-out of a few species isn’t going to kill us all. But on the other hand, who wants a whole species daying out on his say-so? What do you do, pick the five most endangered species and then just cross ’em off the list, and write it off as necessity? Or do you pick species specifically annoying to humans? Do you try to choose the five most dangerous species threatening life on earth? It’s far too hard a question… but I’ll have a go, since I penned the damned thing.

I’m sure my list is somewhat unfair, skewed, even screwed, but if you’re convinced you can do better, I’d like to see your list. And if you want to see others’ lists, check the Friday Fivers out in the right sidebar: there are links galore.

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