Are invasive species a major cause of extinctions?-Gurevitch...

Kelly O'Neill
Fri, 17 Sep 2004 02:03:33 PDT
On 16 Sep 2004 at 11:39, Lee Poulsen wrote:

> interesting journal article that
>  just appeared showing that it is as yet unknown and unproven 
> invasive species actually cause the extinction of native species.

  Scientists who use technically true information to make clearly false 
conclusions are in high demand. Those willing to ignore the obvious for 
$ get hired by corporations and corrupt government agencies (with 
names like Environmental Protection Agency) to help avoid the truths we 
do not want to believe. I believe DDT, lead, Agent Orange, asbestos, 
tobacco,... all have/had their scientist-champions. 
  The idea that we should understand the science of the connection 
between extinction and invasive exotics is sound. Much in the article is 
good and true. The problem comes if this reasoning is used to take that 
usual next step to say something like "we should not limit our activities 
until the connection is proven to a scientific certainty first". As I see it, we 
ought to lean more in the opposite direction (protecting the web of life 
until we prove the safety of the potentially harmful activity - to a Scientific 
   Either approach can be taken too far. I'm a seed-list-oholic. I 
experiment with things I have never heard of. I don't want the 
government taking away my freedom to sow. I am, however, nervous I 
will (or already have) let loose a plague upon my bioregion. In my 
climate things grow so well/quickly it is easier to see how an exotic can 
take over. A patch of Ivy, for instance, will mow down a square mile of 
200 foot tall forest in a human lifetime. The Ivy might get replaced by 
natives in some future succession, I don't see that as likely.
   If business and quarterly profits control this sort of decisionmaking, it 
appears to me, we will destroy the web our descendants need to 
survive. It would not be hard to find a scientist who could appear to use 
the scientific method to prove me wrong. What scares me the most, is 
that many in business and science actually believe their false 
  Sorry to rant on so. The political season full of people believing clearly 
false promises gets me all riled up.      KellyO

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