There's no mystery in this year's salmon collapse. We killed our salmon many years ago, and we just failed to notice.
Why do others see a mystery? Because they weren't paying attention.
This year's salmon crash was inevitable, now that we've reduced our salmon portfolio to just a few stocks. Lacking a diverse portfolio, a bad year for one stock is a very bad year overall.
Think of this like a financial investment porfolio that consists of only one stock. If that company does well, you win. But if that company goes bankrupt, you lose. Who would be stupid enough to invest their life's savings in just one stock?
But that's what we've done with salmon. After a century of salmon abuse, we've reduced the diversity of our salmon portfolio to just a few stocks. And diversity is important for salmon, it's the foundation of productivity. It's no surprise that we finally had a bad couple of years. It was bound to happen, since we failed to put a value on diveristy.
And for those naysayers who want to blame water withdrawals in the Sacramento River delta...
This year's crash isn't just in California, things are bad in Oregon rivers too. So the crash can't just be caused by water diversion in California rivers. There is very clear evidence that ocean conditions played a major role in the salmon collapse. For a glimpse of the role of diversity in productivity, check out this description of how some Columbia salmon are doing fairly well, compared to others that are in trouble. Even now, we can see the value of diversity. But will we pay attention?
Will we begin to protect diversity and resilience, the foundations of salmon productivity? Or will we count noses and hope for the best?
Go ahead, put your retirement money in Enron stock.