Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

If ignorance is bliss...

Joe Soucheray must be a happy man, indeed. Read his current column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, about the brand new Lights Out program in the Twin Cities:

The latest chapter in what can only be described as a massive crackup is the idea that we have to turn off the lights in downtown buildings to save birds. I don't know if you are aware of this - I certainly wasn't - but birds apparently are attracted to the lights during migratory periods in the spring and fall and then, because they are stupid, they crash into the buildings and die.

I guess if we turn off the lights the birds will make it safely to the next day, when they can sit in a park and get eaten by a cat.

Read the whole column. Opinion columns are ever so much easier to write when pesky facts and research can be ignored. Notice that he's not made reference to any other Lights Out programs, including those in vibrant cities such as Chicago, New York, or Toronto, nor has he interviewed a single person who has worked on the local project, nor has he researched anything substantive about the issue at all. It's all about what Joe Soucheray's idea of "vibrancy" is. About everything else, he's completely in the dark.


  1. Joe Soucheray's sarcasm makes him sound like a cranky old man.

  2. Joe lives to taunt liberals. I would say you are oil to his vinegar.

    Lynne's right, he's a cranky pants. The less you pay attention to him, the better you feel.

  3. Is the Lights Out program really a liberal one? No one is requiring businesses or anyone else to turn lights out--it's entirely voluntary. I'm always mystified why the media gives a forum to columnists and commentators who don't bother to support their opinions with demonstrable facts. Even if Soucheray wanted to write a sarcastic article, he could have done a tiny little Google search and found the great big error in his sentence, "Bird advocates with no means of providing any statistical evidence whatsoever report ridiculous numbers of birds that die each year crashing into buildings. Thousands. Millions. Tens of millions." 1500 to 2000 birds have been documented being killed EVERY YEAR at ONE single building in Chicago (McCormick Place)--their carcasses were being picked up by the Field Museum of Natural History since 1982, and the numbers didn't decline until some of the lights finally went out. Check out for other statistics that bird advocates have carefully documented.