Invasion of the Invasive Species!

Local biodiversity is increasing because of man, not despite him.

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Here's a fact I suspect most people don't know: Wherever human beings have gone in the last two centuries, we have increased local and regional biodiversity. Biodiversity, in this case, is defined as species richness. For example, more than 4,000 plant species introduced into North America during the last 400 years now grow wild here; they now constitute nearly 20 percent of the continent's vascular plant biodiversity.

Yet "the popular view [is] that diversity is decreasing at local scales," as the biologists Dov Sax of Brown University and Steven Gaines of the University of California at Santa Barbara noted in a 2003 paper published by the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution. And one alleged culprit for the purported loss of diversity is competition from invasive species—that is, plants and animals introduced into ecosystems where they are not native.

Opponents of invasive species fear that aggressive outsiders will wipe out native species. That might seem reasonable, since there are a few species, such as kudzu, purple loosestrife, and water hyacinth, that grow with alarming speed wherever they show up. But that doesn't mean other species are necessarily in danger. "There is no evidence that even a single long term resident species has been driven to extinction, or even extirpated within a single U.S. state, because of competition from an introduced plant species," the Macalester College biologist Mark A. Davis noted in the journal BioScience in 2003.

Yet this spurious threat of extinction is one of the chief reasons given for preventing the introduction of exotic species to new areas.

There are plenty more examples of increasing biodiversity associated with the introduction of new species. Vascular plants brought in from all over the world have doubled the species richness of the plant life on most Pacific islands. The biodiversity of some islands has increased so much that they now approach the richness of continental areas. In New Zealand, since European settlement began 160 years ago, 2,000 introduced plant species have joined 2,000 native species, and only three native plant species have gone extinct. The opening of the Suez Canal introduced 250 new fish species from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean Sea. Only a single extinction resulted.

Researchers find increases in species richness on the local level as well. Sax and Gaines cite studies finding that a corner of West Lancaster in Great Britain has seen a dramatic rise in plant species diversity during the last two centuries, gaining 700 exotics while losing 40 natives. The movement of species between ecosystems has increased reptile and amphibian diversity slightly in California, and it has increased freshwater fish diversity significantly in many drainages throughout the United States. Mammal diversity has increased on many oceanic islands, in Australia, and in North America, thanks to introduced species.

Birds are different. Many bird species, especially those endemic to isolated islands, have gone extinct, largely due to habitat loss and predation by humans or by introduced animals such as rats. Nevertheless, Sax and Gaines note, "net bird diversity (in spite of large changes in species composition) has remained largely unchanged on oceanic islands."

In other words, despite extinctions of endemic species, the number of avian species on any given island remains more or less steady because of new species.

Some introduced species do cause harm to the environment. They become pests (that is, they set up shop where we don't want them to) or cause disease in people or in creatures we care about. But the vast majority of introduced species blend in more or less unobtrusively with the natives. The main objection to spreading nonnative species seems to be aesthetic.

The Birmingham University biologist Phillip Cassey, for example, responds to the evidence of rising local and regional biodiversity by complaining that many of the birds a visitor from the U.K. might encounter in New Zealand are the same species found back home. "The same is true for floras and faunas around the world," Cassey and three co-authors lamented in the journal Austral Ecology in 2005. "It is the biological equivalent of flying from Seattle to Paris and going to Starbucks for your coffee."

Fair enough. But that is not a scientific argument. As Sax and the New Mexico University biologist James Brown replied to Cassey and his colleagues in the same issue of Austral Ecology, whether the effects of introduced species "are considered to be positive or negative, good or bad is a subjective value judgment rather than an objective scientific finding. Scientists are no more uniquely qualified to make such ethical decisions than lay people." Phillip Cassey may wish to quaff his café au lait at Les Deux Magots while others enjoy their Venti Café Misto in the familiar purlieus of a Parisian Starbucks. Science has nothing to say about which choice is better.

Nevertheless, aesthetic reasons are still reasons, and science can be validly deployed in their service. Some people may prefer landscapes restored to a condition prior to the introduction of outside species. As Davis and the Stony Brook University biologist Lawrence Slobodkin pointed out in a 2004 article for Restoration Ecology, architecture uses mathematics, physics, and engineering to achieve aesthetic and social goals. "Perhaps 'ecological architecture' might be a more apt characterization of the work of ecological restoration," they suggest, "because the term acknowledges the central role played by both values and science."

The good news from biology, as Davis puts it in his BioScience article, is that the "globalization of the Earth's biota will not lead to a world composed of zebra mussels, kudzu, and starlings." In the future different regions of the world will be more similar in their floras and faunas, he concludes, but "at the same time, they will become more diverse, in some cases much more diverse." 

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122 responses to “Invasion of the Invasive Species!

  1. Well, this is just the best vascular plant news I’ve had in years. Now if you could only figure out a way to get the damned purple loosestrife out of my yard everything would be fine.

    1. *shakes fist*

      VANNEMANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!

    2. “Now if you could only figure out a way to get the damned purple loosestrife out of my yard everything would be fine.”

      Douse your entire property with gasoline and drop a match.

  2. That is a bit too much fun with statistics there, Bailey.

    If I bring rats and cats to the island of Mauritius and they, and I, kill all the dodos, “local and regional biodiversity” have increased, but the dodos are all still gone.

    1. Fucking Dodos were just undercompetitive pigeons anyhow. Giant, tasty, lazy island pigeons. We are Gaia’s righteous fist.

      1. Most contemporary accounts reports that dodos tasted awful.

        1. Well, good riddance to them!

          1. Stupidly can only be counterbalanced evolutionarily by fecundity.

            1. *Stupidity* I wish I could type. Maybe someone can get me that for Christmas.

              1. I was going to get you a vibrator that plays Oh Come All Ye Faithful

            2. Works for possums

        2. “These things taste awful, but not awful enough to hunt something smarter.”

    2. Humans, rats and cats are all animals as well and we out competed the dodo. Who gives a shit that they are gone?

      1. Because there were already plenty of rats.

        1. But not on Mauritius.

          1. Being satisfied with the trillions of rats in Eurasia and the Americas, and seeing no reason to augment their numbers by giving them Mauritius too, does not mean I am unreasonably anti-rat.

            1. We have always been at rats with Eurasia.

    3. Oh why do you hate me so? Why? Why?

      1. Last time I checked, rats hadn’t evolved any way to get to Mauritius on their own.

        The default state for island populations under Darwinism is for a proliferation of niche species to occur.

        That is being undone, because we are artificially creating “bridges” between widely-separated land masses.

        1. STOP TRAVERSING TEH GLOBE!!!

        2. Human beings aren’t artificial, we are just as much a part of the environment as anything else. Rats hitching a ride on a ship is no different than the plague fleas that hitch a ride on the rat.

          Also you have a very narrow view of evolution. Rats have evolved to follow around human beings because it is a easy source of food. So they actually have evolved a way to get to Maruitius.

          1. Very nice work here.

        3. This is a flawed view of evolution. There’s no such thing as “cheating” in evolution. Logs set adrift by storms have carried all kinds of terrestrial animals to islands. They had no way of getting there on their own, but you cry foul because some animals may have arrived on a ship!?

          This is the self-loathing, collectivist overlay of environmentalism laid bare. If humans had a hand in making it happen, it is suspect, and therefore, undesirable.

    4. We introduced competition into the genetic market, which caused an underperforming enterprise to go under. I take it you would want humans to bail out species like the dodo, you Commie scumbag.

    5. It’s not fun with statistics. It’s analyzing the trend without emotional lamentation for the outlier.

      This is the major problem with ecology. We ignore HUGE growth to lament minuscule loss!

  3. This may be true in the short term, but based on what we know from island biogeography, species richness is related to the land area (species area curve). The current number of species on the land area of the planet is higher than would be predicted by this, due to the isolation of various land masses. Each land mass (or island) has it’s own cadre of species, not always the same. As we connect these pieces of land (by bringing the species to and fro)we can expect the number of species to “relax” to the number predicted by the species area curve for the whole planet, as one landmass. But this takes time. The number of species now considered at risk of extinction is a partial consequence of that.

    Will this meet the predictions? Time will tell, as we proceed on this experiment, without a control.

  4. Non-native lily pads have choked out most native vegetation in my lake. So while vegetation native to Florida is not in danger, my lake has turned into disgusting muck farm.

  5. When I complete my quest to find the person responsible for introducing the Asian lady beetle into the United States, that person will be very sorry.

    1. What is your problem with ladybugs?

      1. That’s what i was going to say, but then i read the article Fist linked. They’re another species of ladybug. Stinky ones. But they still eat aphids, so I can’t get too worked up.

        1. You would get worked up if you lived in a rural setting and your house was the only structure on its hill for a mile. This year admittedly wasn’t bad but in past I’ve had thousands swarm my pad in the Fall. Fuck the aphid-plagued farmers.

          1. We live in a city in the midwest, and the south and west sides of our house get covered in the fall. They then creep into the house walls and find their way inside all winter.

            We spray each fall to limit the number.

      2. What is your problem with ladybugs?

        They don’t wax.

        1. That’s no ladybug.

    2. ****Rant warning****
      God-damned motherfucking annoying bastards. There is a special place in hell for the USDA asshats who did this. I didn’t need to read the article to tell you what those bugs do. They BITE. They stink. They leave spooge all over the place. They swarm in the millions and coat the walls, the floor, every blessed light fixture, and crevice in the house. And to top it all off, my oldest son is allergic to them, which during certain times of the year, turns him into a red-eyed demon child who can only function when hopped up on sudafed and benadryl. Oh and thanks to the meth hysteria I’m in perpetual fear of accidentally buying too much sudfed. SO yeah, Asian ladybugs suck bigtime
      ***end rant***
      Thank-you for your time

  6. I think Ron Bailey needs to increase his biodiversity. His body lacks sufficient quantities of several tropical parasites and malicious bacteria.

    Surely, increasing his biological diversity would be a good thing for him, no?

    1. Looks like someone can’t fathom the differences in tolerance for change between a large organism’s body and an ecosystem. Or for that matter the ethical differences between human life and a certain transient environmental status quo.

      1. They seem like pretty good analogies if you ask me.

        I’m not saying Bailey should die. Why would he die? I thought increasing the number of species in his ecosystem would be a good thing for him. The native bacteria in his body will simply adapt and everyone will be better for it. Right?

        1. Unfortunately, his body’s cells aren’t subject to the same homeostatic/evolutionary mechanisms as independent species in an ecosystem. Not to say that multicellular organisms aren’t robust, only they aren’t nearly as robust as ecosystems due to their rigidly ordered cell differentiations and functions, and the lack of an evolutionary mechanism at the micro level.

          More to the point, the “ecosystem” is the sum of all species within, while “Ron” as most people understand it would refer only to the population of human cells in his personal cellular ecosystem — the outsiders can be symbiotic or parasitic, but the well-being of the “Ron” system only refers to their impact on the dominant cell population, for better or for worse.

    2. Ah yes, the mark of a true Green, people who disagree with you should die.

      1. Infection is pretty mild, really. Shouldn’t he want to be able to blow up Ron’s head?

        1. Fair enough. I stand corrected. He snarkily wished probable-harm-that-could-be-easily-viewed-as-wishing-death on Ron.

      2. How should people die in the Green worldview?

        1. Eating organic e-coli salads.

  7. What? No Alt-text?

  8. Lake Victoria is quickly turning into a disaster area thanks to two introduced species: the Nile Perch and Water Hyacinth. The latter is a massive carnivore that kills off all the native fish, then turns on smaller members of its own species. The latter has strangled out the native lake vegetation. The result? The native diverse population of cichlids ate things like algae and native plants and kept everything in check, meaning that the water was clear and clean. Now it’s a big murky mess, and while there’s a lot of short term profit from the harvesting of Nile Perch, the long term prospects are grim without massive cleanup efforts and some way to control the invasive species.

    1. But carbon still cycles thru the system, so really nothing has changed

      1. Technically nothing is ever created or destroyed, so even if the planet blows up, it’s still there in a way. No need to prevent that. It’s all the divine randomness of the free market!

        1. so even if the planet blows up, it’s still there in a way.

          No, it wouldn’t. You forgot to say that things are not created or destroyed but “transformed.”

    2. Re: Mzilikazi,

      while there’s a lot of short term profit from the harvesting of Nile Perch[…]

      Read: with feeding people.

      […]the long term prospects are grim without massive cleanup efforts and some way to control the invasive species.

      Again – why? For the benefit of whom?

      1. Nutritionally the people on the coast of Lake Victoria are worse off–they eat the bones and skin and scraps of the Nile Perch, while the meat gets shipped off to Russia and the Middle East. The smaller fish they used to live on (that could be fished from the shore, or in small boats) are going extinct. Combined with the fact that all the neighboring countries are dumping their sewage into the lake, you’re killing off a source of food and fresh water.

        This isn’t an anti-capitalist rant or anything. You simply can’t have a lake ecosystem that only has inedible plants and carnivores and that is getting dirtier and nastier by the day. The Water Hyacinth makes it harder to get boats through the water, which impedes commerce. There are also side effects like the Victoria water quality increasing diseases like bilharzia, which is second only to malaria in damaging economies and shortening life spans around the world.

        Most of the blame for this situation can be placed on Russians, who introduced the fish and operate a lot of the export/processing business. It is, surprisingly, possible for humanity to kill off a large body of water so that it’s not profitable for anyone. Reference Sea, Aral or any number of rivers in China or the former Soviet Union.

        1. Re: Mzilikazi

          Nutritionally the people on the coast of Lake Victoria are worse off–they eat the bones and skin and scraps of the Nile Perch, while the meat gets shipped off to Russia and the Middle East.

          That has nothing to do with the concept of “invasive species.”

          Combined with the fact that all the neighboring countries are dumping their sewage into the lake, you’re killing off a source of food and fresh water.

          That’s a different problem.

          This isn’t an anti-capitalist rant or anything.

          Of course not, as it has nothing to do with capitalism, but with lack thereof.

          It is, surprisingly, possible for humanity to kill off a large body of water so that it’s not profitable for anyone. Reference Sea, Aral or any number of rivers in China or the former Soviet Union.

          Yes, but not sorely because of an “invasive species.” You are describing a classic case of “tragedy of the commons,” which happen when there’s a lack of property rights. It is clear the lake fishers did not ask or need the perch, that it was brought in without their permission – I smell government involvement and rent-seeking, politically-connected ruffians, not capitalism.

  9. As [Dov] Sax and the New Mexico University biologist James Brown replied to Cassey and his colleagues in the same issue of Austral Ecology, whether the effects of introduced species “are considered to be positive or negative, good or bad is a subjective value judgment rather than an objective scientific finding. Scientists are no more uniquely qualified to make such ethical decisions than lay people.”

    Wow! Somebody has been reading Menger!

  10. Mr. Bailey-
    Dr. Davis’s paper showing that extinctions due to competition are rare does not suggest that the threat of extinctions from exotics is spurious. He notes that numerous well-documented extinctions have occurred due to introduced pathogens and predators.

    1. Re: Richard,

      Boo-fucking-hoo.

      Cry me a river. “Life cannot be contained, it always finds a way,” regardless if it is on the back of a bird or on top of a pallet.

      1. It’s Dick to you

          1. Now I’m on your mind. You can’t quit me.

      2. But the sort of limited, punctuated containment that you found in the natural world before humans came to dominate it was precisely what generated the rich diversity of life we now enjoy.

      3. Quoting a make-believe scientist from a movie screenplay, which is a paraphrase from a Michael Crichton book fer Chrissakes, is not an argument.

    2. And yet, Bailey’s point remains cogent: One million extinctions is far less important than 100 Billion survivals.

  11. Mr. Bailey-
    Dr. Davis’s paper showing that extinctions due to competition are rare does not suggest that the threat of extinctions from exotics is spurious. He notes that numerous well-documented extinctions have occurred due to introduced pathogens and predators.

  12. Nevertheless, aesthetic reasons are still reasons[…] Some people may prefer landscapes restored to a condition prior to the introduction of outside species.

    And that’s why God invented money and work, so that those that prefer such landscapes can pay for them themselves, and not bother the rest of humanity with inane documentaries on PBS.

    1. Some folks like me for the medicines and food I help provide, not to mention the raw material for genetic engineering.

    2. Yeah the feds have really fucked up Yellowstone. It would be in so much better shape if people were allowed to turn it into a colony of McMansions.

      1. Re: Tony,

        Yeah the feds have really fucked up Yellowstone.

        Funny you mention it, because the Feds really did fuck it up with their biological micromanagement.

        It would be in so much better shape if people were allowed to turn it into a colony of McMansions.

        Funny you mentioned that, because McMansion owners are many times more likely to KEEP a place pristine than the Feds and the slobs that visit the place.

        It’s funny when you bring up these things, Tony, because tey end up being ironic.

        1. They’re likely to keep their yards pristine, but they’re not likely to preserve a large wilderness, and especially not for public use. In your world national parks simply would not exist. You can decide if that would be a loss; I think it would.

          1. Re: Tony,

            They’re likely to keep their yards pristine, but they’re not likely to preserve a large wilderness, and especially not for public use.

            I don’t understand – if, as you said, man is destructive, why in the world would you want an area to be open to the PUBLIC?

            Besides, you’re thinking too one-dimensionally. One private owner may not be enough to preserve an area, but SEVERAL of them are able.

            In your world national parks simply would not exist.

            Of course they would not. I DO care about nature… Don’t you???

            Why would you want it to be soiled by the public???

          2. Ever heard of the marsh club?

  13. Invasive species? I got a fucking invasive species for you. Stink Bugs (not to be confused with Stink Foot) . Get these little mother fuckers the fuck out of here!!!

    1. I would not shed a tear if stink bugs became extinct.

      Nor would I shed a tear if bed bugs or mousquitos shed a tear.

  14. I work in the natural resources field, and have a degree in an ecology/natural resources major.

    I HATE all the focus on biodiversity.

    People never stop and think about productivity when they launch into biodiversity rants, but it’s a fact that the less biologically diverse kelp forests support larger populations of fish than an equal area of coral reef.

    Why don’t we ever debate that? Why do we automatically assume biodiversity is more important than productivity?

    1. Well, when you have an ideological axe to grind…

    2. It may have something to do with kelp forests occurring in colder, more productive waters than coral reefs. Studies have shown that more diversity can enhance the productivity of ecosystems, especially for environments with high spatial & temporal variation.

      1. You kids and your over reliance on space time voticies.

  15. I still hate English ivy.

    1. And I hate you right back, guv’ner.

  16. The other thing I want to harp on is the constant harping about the number of species which are going exitinct.

    Did evolution just stop working when we began keeping records? What about all of the new species which must be evolving all the time? Why don’t we ever heard stats about how many new species evolved this year, and then see how that number compares to the number of species that went extinct?

    Maybe more new species are being created every year than the number of species which die off?

    Species have always been dying off. Nothing to get upset about.

    Sorry. I now return you to the regularly scheduled topic.

    1. Maybe if you’re talking about microbial life. But otherwise humans are having a large impact on the biosphere and it’s mostly destructive. The evolution of new species happens over much longer periods of time than the destruction of them by humans has taken.

      1. Re: Tony,

        But otherwise humans are having a large impact on the biosphere and it’s mostly destructive.

        Bullshit.

      2. You imply the existence of an objectively negative definition for destructive, as though one set of outcomes, rather than another, ought to take place.

        1. Yea, I can think of some extinct species many humans would NOT want wandering around in their back yards.

        2. I don’t actually give that much of a shit about the distribution of species on this planet, except insofar as it affects human well-being.

          I think human well-being is something that can be defined and measured to an extent. And unless you’re a total nihilist, so do you, otherwise you wouldn’t bother having an opinion about how they should live. And “living in individualistic ‘freedom'” is an assertion about how people should live.

          1. And do you see your inherently moralistic position as being more rational, or less arbitrary, than that of any random bible-thumper? If so, why? If not, why should I listen to you?

            The nihilist and the fundamentalist are, at least, intellectually honest.

            1. Perhaps it’s not any less arbitrary. But it doesn’t have to be. It just has to be more convincing to more people.

    2. And what about the mutations that don’t successfully mate? Won’t someone think of the mules?

  17. Rats in Mauritius. Perch in Lake Victoria. Why? Why?

  18. Rats in Mauritius. Perch in Lake Victoria. Why? Why?

  19. Rats in Mauritius. Perch in Lake Victoria. Why? Why?

    1. Why haven’t all double- and triple-posting species gone extinct?

  20. I live in Florida. Every once in a while I here some self-appointed elitist (usually a native of New York or New Jersey) complaining about invasive species. One of the most common targets is the Norfolk Island Pine. This is a quite beautiful tree. If you live in a temperate climate you probably know it as the little potted Christmas tree many grocery stores sell. Here they grow full sized and are quite pretty. By the way, it is not a “pine” in the biological sense. It just looks like one

  21. Not all invasive species are bad, not all are good.

    Most examples of invasive species are harmless and only bother purists. A few do cause real harm. And when they do, we should eradicate them.
    Off the top of my head for ‘bad’ invasive species I’m thinking the tree snakes in Guam, potentially the pythons/boas in the Everglades, and the snakehead fish.
    Oh yeah, one of my pet peeves is cat owners who let their cat roam. I feel no sympathy for them when the coyotes have their cat for dinner.
    But if a species is ‘invasive’ but not causing any real or immediate harm, why get all upset about it. It’s not as if species didn’t migrate before we came around.

    1. “Cats” as such are not invasive. Wild species of cat similar in size and habits to modern domestics existed in all continents except Australia prior to human contact.

      The specific Felis catus species is invasive in the sense that it is North African, but even then it is not so much different from local species (except for Australia) and only becomes a problem for the fact that, directly through breeding as a pet and indirectly through all the rats we attract, we feed them to higher numbers than they’d otherwise have.

      But that’s the same with horses, dogs, chicken and cows.

  22. It kinda all boils down to aesthetics.I always wonder why more emphasis isn’t placed on this.

    Coconut trees aren’t native to Hawaii but it’s hard to imagine the place without them. The native hawane palms are quite remarkable but I doubt the average tourist would recognize it.

    It seems the iconic Hawaiian animals like those found on t-shirts, mongoose or gecko, are introduced. Most of the birds you will ever see are exotics.

    However, while I agree that Hawaii will take an entirely different evolutionary trajectory and life will go on, there is something to be lost when native species become extinct.

    Kind of like if the Louvre burned to the ground. All of those iconic artworks gone except by memory.

    I’ve always been a nature for nature’s sake advocate. I think it is a more honest approach. The doomsday political bullshit is usually either contrived or simply unstoppable by any rational political means.

  23. “Fair enough. But that is not a scientific argument.”

    it (what this quote refers to) *is* a scientific argument. evolutionary biologists, especially, want to study ecosystems as they evolved before humans appeared on the scene. especially in the past few centuries, human changes to the planetary ecology have scrambled the situation, making it harder for biologists to tell whether what they see is a result of the long-term evolutionary processes they want to study, or whether what they see is due to recent human-driven reorganization (intentional or not) of nature.

    so it is a scientific matter, but in the classical sense of “science”, not in the popular sense of “objective”. scientists can be very emotional and possessive, and subjective, of their endeavors. many biologists won’t admit it, but one of their primary reasons for wanting to preserve nature is so that they can study and understand it. human presence in nature is so overwhelming it can swamp other influences, and make much of evolutionary biological science moot or at least very difficult.

    1. No, he’s arguing that local ecosystems should be identifyably different for the sake of being aesthetically pleasing to tourists. That’s a weak sauce rebuttal for a homogeneous biosphere.

      1. No, Ronald is using an illogical argument to come to a false conclusion while sounding all ‘sciency’. Exotic species often cause extinctions because they are predators or pathogens of native species (the article he mentions just says that few are from competition), though I’d say that most extinctions are due to habitat loss.

        Regardless, biodiversity is not just an aesthetic issue, each species represents millions of lines of code on how to survive on this planet (i.e., the DNA) and we humans have used that for incredible advances in food crops, medicines, and other benefits. Wiping out species deprives us and future generations the of that opportunity. Where do you think the information for genetic engineering comes from?

  24. Another thing to contemplate: some plant species, e.g. Sedum acre would be pretty rare if not for railroads.

  25. “It is the biological equivalent of flying from Seattle to Paris and going to Starbucks for your coffee.”

    Starbucks.Paris.Seattle.

    Something tells me he drives a hybrid with a ‘coexist’ bumpersticker.

    1. Something tells me you live in a shithole and make yourself feel better by bashing the best cities in the world.

  26. Fascinating. Bailey’s entire post relies on one article published in 2003 to which he provides no link. The guy has a lot of contempt for readers, assuming they’ll just accept whatever he spins as gospel and not bothering to check into it for themselves.

    For anyone who cares, check into the U.N. Convention on Biodiversity, which will provide you with actual data you can judge for yourself.

  27. TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT?..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets?..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.//////// I love communist obama.will you ,thank you,the commander.ps aka red ink obama.//////// Repost this if you agree, IS communist obama ONE , Because of its secrecy and refusal to issue news releases, the Bilderberg group is frequently accused of political conspiracies. This outlook has been popular on both extremes of the ideological spectrum, even if they disagree on what the group wants to do. Left-wingers accuse the Bilderberg group of conspiring to impose capitalist domination,[21] while some right-wing groups such as the John Birch Society have accused the group of conspiring to impose a world government and planned economy.Obama’s India trip really an Emergency Bilderberger Meeting ?THE COMMADER.

    1. COMMANDER, can you get tickets for the Bilderberger Meeting? I’ll pay for them.

  28. I often think that split infinitives are a bit like alien species in that they each constitute a concept that provokes terror amongst a minority of people, most of whom wouldn’t recognise the object of their fear if it jumped out of their soup at them. Then there is the vast majority of folk who neither know nor care what a split infinitive/alien species is. Ronald Bailey has written a super article that reveals that the alien species terror still haunts the minds of its true believers.

    For another great comment on the subject, read An Evolutionary Perspective on Strengths, Fallacies, and Confusions in the Concept of Native Plants by Stephen Jay Gould. To give you a flavour: he says

    [T]his notion [“native plants”] encompasses a remarkable mixture of sound biology, invalid ideas, false extensions, ethical implications and political usages both intended and unanticipated. Clearly, Nazi ideologues provided the most chilling uses. In advocating native plants along the Reichsautobahnen, Nazi architects of the Reich’s motor highways explicitly compared their proposed restriction to Aryan purification of the people. By this procedure, Reinhold T?xen hoped “to cleanse the German landscape of unharmonious foreign substance.” In 1942 a team of German botanists made the analogy explicit in calling for the extirpation of Impatiens parviflora, a supposed interloper: “As with the fight against Bolshevism, our entire Occidental culture is at stake, so with the fight against this Mongolian invader, an essential element of this culture, namely, the beauty of our home forest, is at stake.”

    If such neurosis weren’t so serious and persistent it would be gut-bustingly funny. Gould tells us that Jens Jensen, the (Swedish) American landscape architect was a little ahead of the German posse when he wrote (1937) “The gardens that I created myself shall . . . be in harmony with their landscape environment and the racial characteristics of its inhabitants. They shall express the spirit of America and therefore shall be free of foreign character as far as possible. The Latin and the Oriental crept and creeps more and more over our land, coming from the South, which is settled by Latin people, and also from other centers of mixed masses of immigrants. The
    Germanic character of our cities and settlements was overgrown. . . . Latin spirit has spoiled a lot and still spoils things every day.”

    This is terrifying stuff, but is not confined to the past. It is in response to such continuing nonsense that Groening and Wolschke-Bulmahn (1992) suggest that ecology, a term used “as if it conferred moral authority,” is often a weak justification for less desirable motives. The idea that “exotic plants from other continents threaten our home nature,” they say, is nothing short of xenophobia.

    Well, there you have it; they’re classifiable as xenophobes and they come in three subspecies phytophobes, zoophobes and pan-specific biophobes ? we can hardly exclude ourselves as objects of phobia.

    While rejecting the other daft concept of “the good old days”, I do recall a time when alien species didn’t exist: we had “introduced” species. This wasn’t mere politeness towards fellow travellers, it was accurate, and far more so than the terms that go with “alien species”, like “aggressive” and “invasive”; these are anthropomorphic terms (triffids spring to mind), but then so is the idea of a species.

    One last point, for a balanced statement on introduced plants (in Britain and Ireland) read what the Botanical Society of the British Isles has to say at http://www.bsbi.org.uk/alien_invaders_.html

  29. well, the author makes it pretty clear where he wants to get his money from. By introducing species humans are disrupting the balance of nature and the author wants to make is sound like a good thing. I agree with previous posters that the author’s balance should be disrupted with parasites and bacteria.

  30. “The good news from biology, as Davis puts it in his BioScience article, is that the “globalization of the Earth’s biota will not lead to a world composed of zebra mussels, kudzu, and starlings.””

    Ron Bailey and Reason are GLOBALISTS!!!

    You shill for the fascist globalists, you take their fascist donations, and then you have the audacity to beg the people for yet more money to fund your propaganda machine?

    I’m not that foolish and I hope not too many of your readers are that foolish either.

    “The main objection to spreading nonnative species seems to be aesthetic.”

    No, the main objection is to the law of unintended consequences wrought by man’s hubris. Your mighty machine of corporations, academia, and globalist governments is a mighty weak and stupid thing – and it’s might is no more than a facade created by it’s marketing department.

  31. THANK YOU TO ALL VETERANS , THE COMMANDER ——NOV.11 ,2010

  32. This is very interesting and something the main stream media has not really picked up on. Patriot Henry needs to chill a bit too (see comment above).

  33. Lake Victoria is quickly turning into a disaster area thanks to two introduced species: the Nile Perch and Water Hyacinth. The latter is a massive carnivore that kills off all the native fish, then turns on smaller members of its own species. The latter has strangled out the native lake vegetation. The result? ???? ?????? ????? ??????? The native diverse population of cichlids ate things like algae and native plants and kept everything in check, meaning that the water was clear and clean. Now it’s a big murky mess, and while there’s a lot of short term profit from the harvesting of Nile Perch, the long term prospects are grim without massive cleanup efforts and some way to control the invasive species.

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