*For reasons of privacy, name and species have been changed and/or generalized for this interview:
Carl “The Fish”: “Hey, no problem…this whole Darwin thing is going to take a while, anyway, so…
DS: You got that right, sure won’t be easy. How do the first couple steps feel?
CTF: Not bad – hell of a lot less humid.
DS: Great, great. So, let me ask you this, our first question, the elephant-in-the-swamp, so to speak: Why now? What’s the rush?
CTF: Well, my wife has been after me for years to grow a pair…Lungs, man, lungs!! Just a little primordial humor there, dude. Seriously, I’ve been able to put up with quite a lot over the years. From sewage and mine tailings to fertilizer and pesticide runoff, I’ve hung in there.
DS: Wow, no fun.
CTF: Tell me about it. PCBs, flushed and discarded OTCs and prescription drugs, rising temperatures – this water’s seen it all. And I’m right smack in the middle of all of it. But what finally got my fins in gear is the mercury.
DS: Mercury? That can’t be good.
CTF: Believe me, it’s not. I didn’t realize that all of that runoff, the waste, the industrial spills and discharge, the leaks, all of that contamination contributes to the buildup of mercury in my soft tissue. Also in my, ahem, rockfish hard abs.
DS: And this was the last straw?
CTF: Absolutely. And far too many Congressmen constantly threaten to scuttle basic environmental laws. I’ve heard that one bill, H. R. 2354, could leave about 20% of the wetlands in the continental United States without Clean Water Act protection!
DS: So you’re making your stand, or your crawl, or whatever.
CTF: Exactly. Out of the water, into the air!
DS: Carl, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but the air might not be all that much better for you.
CTF: You’re kidding me.
DS: I wish I were, but with the amount of carbon pollution being pumped into the air, the daily buildup of greenhouse gases…I don’t know. A hell of a lot of people are fighting the good fight for clean air and water, but it’s just possible that your mercury levels will continue to rise until…
CTF: Aw, Jeez Louise…why don’t you just wrap me up in newspaper and get it over with?
DS: Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be such a downer.
CTF: That’s okay, I’m getting used to bad news. Worst case scenario, there’s always revenge.
CTF: Yeah, revenge. Know any good restaurants?