“MABEY:…I’m disturbed that there is such a human-centered view of these plants. I mean, we live on a planet where there are enormous numbers of organisms that have to make a living as well as us. And poison ivy, for instance – the berries of poison ivy are the most important food of the chickadee in your country. And are we condemning the chickadee to a diet because we actually get inconvenienced by poison ivy? I really think that when – you know, in the middle of the 21st century, we start to take a planet-centered view of these plants, and think not just in terms of the occasional inconvenience they cause to us, but how do they fit into the whole ecosystem…
DAVIS: I suspect we may get some other calls quite critical of what Richard and I are saying. This is an exceedingly emotional topic for a lot of people. They have really – they really like to dislike certain species. Ultimately, I think that that’s maybe an inherent human characteristic. That’s what the anthropologists would say. It’s what some evolutionary biologists are saying now. That – for example, when altruism evolved, along with that was a distrust of people outside your group. So, in other words, maybe humans are predisposed to have an us-versus-them viewpoint on the world. And we just – for that, we just fall into this trap when it comes to species. We want to embrace the natives and actually, we love to hate the non-natives.”
A comment on the article:
Inappropriate and pointless. If humans really wanted to get things “back to the way they were” then we would limit our own breeding. It’s disturbing to think of what good the money spent killing could have done if it had been applied to something else. Survival of the fittest is ironically undermined by some biologists. No ecosystem is ever NOT evolving; ever NOT changing. By trying to go back to a “pre-invasion” state, scientists are more so wanting a museum than an actual living world. What’s gone is gone. More death won’t bring it back.