Plant conservation Was: Rare plants & seed trade ethics
Wed, 02 Jul 2008 09:08:25 PDT
On 30 Jun 08, at 23:44, wrote:

> ...this is a terribly complicated problem...

It's not the problem that's complex, it's the solution.

The problem is a very simple one: over-population. This has led to more and 
more urbanization & development which are primary causes of habitat 
destruction, in turn the A#1 cause of plants and animals in trouble.

Consider tecophilaea: although overly aggressive collecting on behalf of Dutch 
bulb companies was undoubtedly part of the problem, the real causes of its near-
extinction in the wild were urbanization of and overgrazing.

But you notice that in all the yap yap yap about carbon footprints, 
environmental degradation, etc, no one points the finger at the real culprit: 
unrestrained reproduction by Homo sapiens. I will leave it as a homework 
exercise to work out what the underlying factors behind that are. Hint: look at 
a few sacred cows (figurativel speaking).

Sadly, there are many elements in society ruthlessly opposed to humans getting 
a grip on their reproductive proclivities. Even more sadly, Mother Nature has 
repeatedly demonstrated that any species that proliferates in such a manner 
sooner or later undergoes a catastrophic drop in numbers. Homo sapiens is not 
exempt from this process.

To summarize:

underlying factors -> unrestrained reproduction -> overpopulation -> ever 
increasing use of fossil fuels, development, urbanization, and overgrazing -> 
environmental degradation -> QED

The sequence is not complete, of course, nor does the chain of cause and effect 
conform to a simple linear model.

Does anyone have any authentic news on the results of attempts to re-establish 
Iris winogradowii in the Caucasus?

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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