Friday, April 13, 2007

Invasive species: more inconveniences of a wicked nature

Plodding through the web logs of the day, I noticed the “Delmar Dustpan” posting. I too have noted the unspoken extension of invasive species to discussions of Home sapiens. Of course it is a wicked inconvenience that definitions are arrived at by the proposed solutions of the various stakeholders, one of which limits an invasive to a species introduced by man.

It is not a great reach to slightly alter the discussion of invasives and meander into the realm of politics and people. If we say that an area should be for natives only, it is not far fetched to arrive at Delaware for Delawareans; animals, plants and people. Out of this definition shell game come argumentative attacks with labels such as plant Nazis, and comments such as: “I am sure it will only be a short time until we have Delaware garden police with complete authority to walk on your property and fine you.” An interesting book, which touches on this thesis and well worth reading, is The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany , by David Blackbourn

As each stakeholder has his own solution in mind, and given that there is no right or wrong answer, the writer belongs to the “there is no problem” group and hence his natural reaction to the issue. If there is no problem, then the discussion held by those who see a problem is problematic at best. The author of the dustpan does not perceive destruction of natural areas as a actionable item and therefore is horrified by the perception of limits on personal freedom. In addition, there is the hint of a conspiracy which begets the idea that “Surprisingly Marijuana isn't on the list. I guess the growers paid off the right people.” This statement works because Dustpan’s solution is defined by a lack of a problem, and since his perception of the definition is limited and not part of “there is a problem” camp, the definite possibility of a grand economic conspiracy is reasonable.

Note also:
Invasive Notes: Invasive complexities
Invasive Species; Wicked Inconvenience: part two
Weeds: Defining Inconvenience, Wickedly
Invasive Species – A Wicked Inconvenience

1 comment:

Howard said...

First let me said your use of the term Plant Nazis was great. It much better than my Delaware Garden Police term. I will try and find the book you mentioned. Obviously this is a subject closer to your heart than mine, but I did enjoy reading this post and your other posts. I will try and keep tabs on your blog as I am interested in what you have to say on bamboo.