Monday, January 12, 2009

Invasive species consequences-unexpected

Invasive species are a wicked inconvenience. We push and pull at solutions and argue over definitions because invasive species are a type of wicked problem. When we try to solve the problem we find ourselves facing what should have been suspect unintended unforeseen consequences. Wicked problems have numerous intervention points, have consequences difficult to envision, and are surrounded by a dynamic uncertainty wrapped in a moving frontier of knowledge.

Thus we present “Efforts to remove an invasive species from a sub-Antarctic island that has been named a World Heritage site accidentally triggered an environmental catastrophe…”

Reading like a nursery rhyme:

Macquarie Island met the cats, some were small and all were fat
And then the lesser gods decreed: bunny rabbits suit our need.
And so they came and ate and grew, large in numbers from a few
Microbes culled the rabbit herds; the cats were left with all the birds.
And now we hear the troubled hollers; this will cost a million dollars!

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