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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Only Sure Bet Is Devastation

I can appreciate nihilistic humor as much as the next fellow. But it's certainly grating to see that bookmakers at Paddy Power are taking bets on which sea creature will be driven to extinction first in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The odds-on-favorite was the Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtle at 4/5 when I checked today, followed by the Bluefin Tuna at 6/4, then the Leatherback Sea Turtle and the Brown Pelican at 8/1 each.

Hat tip: Richard Black's Earth Watch blog, which added:

I wondered, though, whether species extinctions are a suitable subject for gambling. Isn't inviting people to estimate the relative odds of two species taking the dodo trail in the pursuit of cash just a bit - well - tasteless?

[Paddy Power's] Mr Robertson countered with the opposite notion. It's actually a positive thing for conservation, he said, because punters whose knowledge of the natural world extends to horses and greyhounds might discover a bit more in the process of trying to beat the odds.

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