Monday, April 27, 2015

Invasions, Assimilation, and Salt

For some reason, I have been gripped by the topic of “invasive species” for the last few days.    Down here in the south, the example of kudzu immediately comes to mind.  The UN Council on Bio Diversity defines an invasive species as, “a plant or animal that is not native to a specific location; and has a tendency to spread, which is believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy and/or human health.”  

The European Union uses the term "Invasive Alien Species."  One doesn’t need to be a recent graduate of our modern academic system to realize just how offensive and politically incorrect the term "Invasive Alien Species" could be.  In fact, two researchers, Robert I. Colautti and Hugh J. MacIsaac in a paper titled, “A Neutral Terminology to Define ‘Invasive’ Species” come to the aid of those oppressed aliens.  

Their paper’s abstract explains, “The use of simple terms to articulate ecological concepts can confuse ideological debates and undermine management efforts. This problem is particularly acute in studies of nonindigenous species, which alternatively have been called ‘exotic’, ‘introduced’, ‘invasive’ and ‘naturalised’, among others…”  Instead they, “propose a neutral terminology.”  Perhaps they should be called “undocumented species” or “uninvited, but welcome anyways species” or “refugee species.”  Some species were probably brought here by their parents, through no fault of their own – some might call that species a “dreamer” perhaps.

Dr. David Tilman finds, “Typically, an introduced species must survive at low population densities before it becomes invasive in a new location.”  Then there is a “tipping point” where the invasive species becomes a problem.  However, this doesn’t just happen; there are preconditions that make an ecosystem susceptible to invasion.  The Department of Agriculture insightfully explains, “Invaded ecosystems may have experienced disturbance, typically human-induced.  Such a disturbance may give invasive species a chance to establish themselves with less competition from natives less able to adapt to a disturbed ecosystem.”   In the case of the American ecosystem, that disturbance is the result of unconstitutional executive actions.


The Center for Immigration Studies analysis of the new Census says, “These numbers have important implications for workers, schools, infrastructure, congestion and the environment…They also may have implications for our ability to successfully assimilate and integrate immigrants. Yet there has been almost no national debate about bringing in so many people..."

If our country is going to be preserved, Americans must pour on the salt.  No matter how irritating some might find it.

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