Re: NANFA-L-- A Deluge of Snakeheads

Todd D. Crail (tcrail at UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Wed, 12 Oct 2005 11:13:58 -0400

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jerry Baker" <nanfa at>
> I don't know if you meant it this way or not, but this is the kind of
> specious argument used by some extremists to minimize or explain away
> the negative impacts of humans on the environment.

Actually, no, this is a moderate, defensible position in invasion
biology/ecology that pulls away the passion to get at the core of the
mechanisms in operation. Perversion of that position is not the fault of
the researcher, it lies on the karma of the one twisting the information.
Don't think for a second it doesn't irk the researcher (or myself) to death.

In my experience, most anyone trying to pick apart the puzzle are doing so
because they're mortified by the extinction that's easily observable in the
field, by forces that no single individual can control. I personally am all
for double the monies spent fighting current invasives to be spent on public
education to help prevent _further_ introductions. But I doubt that'll make
it through on some House appropriations bill. And no matter how angry a new
introduction makes me... My anger isn't going to change the fact that it's
there or not.

> The argument also does not address the fact that many foreign pests do
> not "occupy an empty niche," but rather hijack one from a native that
> has not evolved to deal with the invader.

This is the other extreme. Can you demonstrate that the niche has been
hijacked? Presence or absence doesn't imply correlation (nor does it stop
me from squashing thier little heads when they show up in my net!).

At that point... You get into this whole Flying Spaghetti Monster (tm)
noodley appendage thing going on turning people into pirates. And that's a
mess we don't need around here :)

The Madness (tm)
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