Saturday, January 19, 2008

ecology and reality

The plea to save species needs to be evaluated from the perspective that ecosystems are not stable, never have been and never will be.

Ecology talk:
Nature is beautiful and complex. Everything is connected to everything else. Diversity is good. If you upset one part of the web of life then that will destablise the health, harmony, order, balance and equilibrium of the whole system. Man is a threat to the balance of nature and thus to himself. Nature knows best.

A lot of the above passes for conventional wisdom. But nature has never been like this and never will be.

There is no balance of nature. Continual upheaval and chaos is the norm. Diversity does not necessarily enhance stability. Left to its own devices nature will continue on paths of chaotic development as it always has. Biocentric equality is not in the best interests of humans. Some environments favour some species. Other environments favour other species. There is no environment that will favour all species. The demand to save all species is bound to fail.

In a Dark Wood: The Fight over Forests and the Myths of Nature by Alston Chase

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