Deer and the Abrupt Climate Change Game

Posted in Abrupt Climate Change at 6:54 am

Deer are currently nothing more than a nuisance in the Northeast – areas with deer tend to have endangered tulips but don’t contend with massive outbreaks of Lymes Disease. Communities tolerate leveled hostas and even an occasional car accident out of a respect for co-existing with nature or a desire to not kill Bambi.

Does your view change if you know the climate will change? (See the rules for the game forthe changes we assume will occur – I know these aren’t terribly likely – that’s not the point.) According to th US Global Change Research Program , a taxpayer funded article that probably could have been written by the editors of Readers Digest, climate change could cause the deer population to explode and consequently cause an explosion in deer ticks. Since we’re working from a different climate model, one that predicts cold winters, would we want to put out feed for the worst parts of the winter as a relatively easy way to keep a source of meat nearby? Do we replace all the deer with sheep?

Assuming you decide deer present too great a risk to the gardens you are depending on for food, do you:

  1. Direct the community to call the police department every time they spot a deer?
  2. Declare an open season on deer in the town and tell all the non-hunter residents to stay inside that day?
  3. Import Indians from the Smokey Mountains who would like to hunt deer as part of their manhood rites and have a shortage in their area (don’t forget to contract for killing x does for every buck, since bucks are more desirable.)
  4.  Give does annual contraceptive shots and hope the vets don’t give themselves the shots. (you think it’s easy to inoculate a thrashing deer?)

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