On The Money,
Financial Advice for the Working-Class
Bad Year For Rhinos, But…
More People Than Ever Wear Tommy Hilfiger
So now it’s official. Poachers killed off the very last wild Black African Rhinos this year. Also the Vietnamese government announced that the Javan Rhino is now extinct within it’s borders. Rough year for rhinos. Some Javan Rhinos still survive in the wild, in Borneo and Indonesia, but the Black, or “hook-lipped” Rhino is gone for good.
While a few Black African Rhinos survive in captivity, human activity has completely wiped them out in the wild. Agriculture and logging reduced their habitat to a fraction of its original size. Big game hunters took their toll, especially in the first half of the last century, but poachers, feeding the insatiable market for rhino parts in China finally wiped them out. This market grows ever more insatiable as China’s middle-class continues to grow.
Yes, the growing Chinese middle-class exerted more economic pressure than the Black African Rhino could endure. Now the rhino is gone forever, but millions of Chinese people now want Tommy Hilfiger. There’s one more reason Middle-Class people suck. Every year the number cell phones and SUVs increases, and the planet’s biodiversity shrinks as the middle-class fantasy of imaginary affluence continues to destroy the Earth.
Black African Rhinos lived in forested habitat and browsed on shrubs and low trees, using their, prehensile, hooked lip to grasp twigs and small branches.
White African Rhinos, or “wide-lipped” rhinos are graminivorous. They have a wide flat “lawnmower lip” not unlike a cow.
Javan Rhinos also live in forests, browse with their hooked lips, but are smaller than their African cousins, have smaller horns, and look like they are wearing a suit of armor.
All rhinos are more or less the same color, greyish brown.
Now the Black African Rhino is gone. The Javan Rhino stands on the brink, threatened by habitat loss and poachers. A growing economic demand for rhino, tiger, leopard, and elephant parts insures that poachers will continue to take their toll on these animals.
The European middle-class wiped out most of the fur-bearing animals in North America. The North American middle-class wiped out most of the South American, Indonesian, and Southeast Asian rainforests, now the Chinese middle-class gets its turn, and the Black African Rhino is just the beginning.
If you’ve seen one middle-class family, you’ve seen them all, and the planet would be better off without any of them. The Black African Rhino, on the other hand is a unique species, particularly suited to its forest habitat, where it played an important role in the forest ecology. Among other things Black African Rhinos are the forest’s firefighters. When they smell smoke they rush in and stamp out the fire. Their forest habitat will never be the same without them, and the planet’s biodiversity is diminished by their loss. They are missed.