OT - Invasive Snakes

Adam Fikso adam14113@ameritech.net
Mon, 10 Jan 2011 14:12:07 PST
But it provides jobs, Jim!  So that others can come along and say it's 
wasteful.   Sorry guys, Off topic.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim McKenney" <jimmckenney@jimmckenney.com>
To: "'Pacific Bulb Society'" <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 12:23 PM
Subject: Re: [pbs] OT - Invasive Snakes

> These discussions about invasive species perplex me.
> If the basic assumption is that invasive species must be eliminated, then
> that has some unfortunate consequences. Let's do a reductio ad absurdum
> here: since the resources to eliminate all invasive species are not likely
> to exist (we won't bother to kill pythons in Alaska), let's agree to 
> confine
> our elimination efforts to only the most invasive species and the ones 
> which
> have had the greatest adverse effects on indigenous plants and animals.
> OK, so we look around and try to determine which species that is. 
> Hmmm.let's
> see, would that be starlings? Pigeons? Kudzu? Oops, .it's pretty obvious
> that the species which has worked hardest to attain that distinction is 
> Homo
> sapiens, a species not native to the Americas. And of the invasive
> tendencies of this species, among the most disruptive have been those 
> which
> result from agricultural activity (billions of acres bereft of their
> biological patrimony and the substitution of  several non-native plant and
> animal species),  road building (which has produced a slaughterhouse for
> those native animals which survive the road building itself), and the
> recycling of stage one destructive activities like farming into stage two
> destructive activities such as housing developments..well, the list could 
> go
> on and on.
> Obviously the ethical thing to do is to eliminate ourselves from the New
> World and allow North, Central and South America to return to the 
> paradises
> they presumably were before "we" got here and wrecked it.
> But that's no fun, and since so many of our cultural myths promote us into
> the role of God's representatives here on earth, we'll exempt ourselves in
> deference to the wishes of the Deity and get on with trying to maintain a
> Disneyland-like similitude of the American Ur-landscape. Hmm.too bad about
> the megafauna, passenger pigeons, Carolina parakeet and those others. 
> We'll
> have to do some virtual versions to fill the void. And what's more
> important, the ivory billed woodpecker's need for vast lowland forest 
> tracts
> or our need for toilet paper and newsprint? Come on, it's a no brainer. 
> And
> as for that old farm field you're going to restore as a "natural" 
> landscape,
> old timers seem to be divided over whether it was originally a bog or an
> upland hardwood forest. Let's make it a prairie instead, and add a few
> patriotic buffalo to keep the crowds happy.
> And soon we'll be 9 billion strong. We must be right because there are so
> many of us.
> If Malthus could see what's happening now, I wonder if he would be glad 
> that
> he lived and died in the world as he knew it. He predicted our date with
> destiny, and we seem to be doing everything in our power to test his
> hypothesis and bring it on. .
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