Saturday, August 16, 2008


Naturalist Edward Wilson was ironic in a statement he made in his memoir, Naturalist (pp. 168-69): “Much of the Pacific fauna has gone under in the path of pigs, goats, rats, Argentine ants, beard grass, and other highly competitive forms introduced by human commerce. Strangers have savaged the islands of the world.”

I’m sure Wilson would agree with what I’m about to say, but at the moment he wrote the previous sentences, he forgot what he now knows only too well. All one needs add to what Wilson wrote is the thought that the human animal is the most competitive stranger who has most “savaged” not only islands of the globe but the globe itself—water, earth and air. So these other competitive strangers are no worse and no better than humankind itself. Isn’t that ironic in the deepest sense—we and the other competitive species dominating the globe?

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