Comments on: Invasive Species http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2013/03/invasive-species/ The EPA Blog Tue, 28 Jul 2015 21:52:05 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.1 By: Cynthia King http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2013/03/invasive-species/#comment-24609 Thu, 28 Mar 2013 17:07:23 +0000 http://blog.epa.gov/blog/?p=18479#comment-24609 Washington State University recently got a grant to prepare for/combat invasive mussels in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more at https://news.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=35679&TypeID=1

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By: Matt Chew http://blog.epa.gov/blog/2013/03/invasive-species/#comment-24608 Mon, 11 Mar 2013 16:55:27 +0000 http://blog.epa.gov/blog/?p=18479#comment-24608 While growing populations of species not present in some ad hoc ‘before time’ represent unanticipated change, it’s absurd to cast them as cartoonish villains in an otherwise benign landscape. Zebra mussels, kudzu and starlings have nothing “in common” as organisms other than the deep evolutionary history all plants and animals on the planet seem to share. ‘Alien’ and ‘invasive’ are purely metaphorical categories that appeal to casual (not causal) thinkers, but they don’t capture the essence of our situation—if, indeed, there is a single essence to capture. It’s far from clear what can and should be done in any particular case, especially when a species becomes as established and integral to a regional ecosystem as any of the three mentioned here. One reason it’s far from clear is that we barely understand them individually; when considered together, the picture becomes murkier and more frightening. That is a key point. Lumping introduced species together as a single phenomenon to be opposed is emotionally appealing (therefore politically expedient and even commercially profitable) but it doesn’t begin to address the fact that globalization isn’t limited to human affairs. Efficiencies that internalize benefits while externalizing costs still have costs. Our foresight is limited; unintended outcomes abound. Our transportation technologies are imprecise, scooping up, carrying along and ultimately marooning many organisms of many kinds in many places. It happens somewhere practically every minute of every day. Some of them survive, because that’s what organisms do, if they can. That won’t change anytime soon. Yet another “I deplore them too!” blog post doesn’t help anyone understand the problems involved, much less contribute to solving them.

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