After receiving a few responses to my posting of the "National
Policy Analysis" article on impending invasive species
legislation, I realize the need to clarify that I was not sending
the article out for the purpose of wholly endorsing the positions
that are advanced.
While I do, in principle, agree that the conventional ecological
wisdom about invasive species is overly simplistic and often fails
to consider the overall consequences of aggressive control
measures, I also believe that many of the arguments advanced in
the article I sent are also overly simplistic and, in some cases,
just plain wrong.
What particularly irritates me, as someone who is objectively
interested in the ecology and utilization of water hyacinths, is
that the author uses the present tense when referring to hyacinth
utilization for tertiary treatment at several U.S. sewage plants -
thereby suggesting that these facilities are currently being used.
In reality, all of the hyacinth utilization programs referenced in
the paper have been discontinued, and a few haven't been
operational for 20-30 years. The story behind why these programs
were dismantled is interesting in and of itself and, ironically,
largely supports the author's general thesis. But rather than
doing thorough research on this, the author instead destroys his
own credibility by making a lazy and demonstrably false claim.
Perhaps the sad lesson embedded in this paper is that science
almost always loses when it is used for the express purpose of
advancing a political argument.
Ph.D. Candidate, Interdisciplinary Ecology
School of Natural Resources and the Environment
University of Florida
(352) 466-4549 - home office
(352) 328-1199 - cell
BioEnergy and Sustainable Technology Society