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Re: invasive species

>From: David Luckie <davidluckie at yahoo_com>
>Subject: RE: Calif aquatic plant "regs"

>Define 'damage.'  Do you mean 'change' the local
>environment?  I don't buy the notion that an invasive
>species damages the local environment simply because
>it is an effective competitor and manages to overwhelm
>native species that are less well adapted.
>Since the beginning of life on this planet, species of
>microbes, then plants and then animals have 'invaded'
>habitat that was occupied by other species.  Those
>other species either competed well with the invader,
>or were overwhelmed and succumbed to the new regime.
>  The human being is a part of nature, and
>whether wittingly or not, man has also been a vector
>for invading organisms.

>The 'damage' that the human animal has done to the
>environment is infinitesimally small.

Ah, another "pave the planet" type leaps to the fore.  First, the amount of
damage done to the environment has been far from small.  Virtually every
ecosystem on the planet has been affected by human activity, if only by the
doubling of the global amount of the fixation of nitrogen and the instant
increase in CO2.  not to mention the tremendous commandeering of biomass
that humans have undertaken.  Humans are very close to showing up on the
geological record as another mass extinction on par with that that wiped
out the dinosaurs.  The only reason you could possibly imagine the impact
of humans has been small is because you haven't done your homework.

next the naturalistic fallacy.  It may be true that there's no absolute
ethical reason not to drive species extinct through our actions, but then
by the same token, there's no real reason to object to someone breaking
into your house and killing your family either.  Humans have been doing
that for millenia, so why should we care about it?  The robber is just
taking poorly defended resources as organisms have always done.   If you
get a disease, perhaps we should just let it run it's course and kill you
then?  After all that's what microbes have been doing for ever.

Just because something vaguely related (and the scale and rate of these
invasions are vastly faster than anything that's ever happened before)
happens in nature is absolutely no justification that it's just fine.

>Hobbyists express a willingness to pay for access to
>these plants when they troop down to the LFS and pay
>for them in an open, competitive marketplace.  The
>'few people' who make a buck from selling these plants
>to the hobbyists use that buck to feed their families,
>not to mention their employment of labor resources and
>investment in capital.  Satisfying desires and making
>a buck is what America is all about--it's called free
>enterprise.  It's what makes this country go, and it's
>what pays the taxes that fund all these environmental
>regulations that people think are so dadgummed

Free enterprise is also in large part what makes the environmental
regulations necessary.  I ask you to point to any pollution or
environmental damage not caused by economic activity.  It is fine to
justify things as just being "economics" but only so long as the full cost
of the economic activity is paid by the actor.  Want to buy and dump
invasive plants?  Fine, as long as you pay the full cost of any damage done
by them.  Otherwise, you are merely asking other people to pay for your
hobby.  Why should I have to pay to clean out millfoil that you put there?

no, the American way isn't about free enterprise, it's about massive
subsidy to those that can get away with it, just like in this case.

Sorry to flame away, but this represents just too much blatant foolishness
to let pass.