Climate Cult Gets Woke On Invasive Species

Putting even more loony tunes into the Cult of Climastrology. Of course this is Vox

It’s time to stop demonizing “invasive” species

Marine ecologist Piper Wallingford was doing fieldwork on the rocky shore of Laguna Beach, California, in 2016 when she noticed a dime-sized creature she’d never seen before. It was a dark unicorn snail, a predator that drills into mussels and injects an enzyme that liquefies their flesh. “Then,” Wallingford explains, “they basically suck it out like soup.”

The animal is native to the Mexican state of Baja California, Wallingford later learned, and it’s been migrating up the coast over the last few decades in search of new habitat, eating into local mussel populations along the way. It’s also one of countless species around the world — from white-tailed deer to lobsters to armadillos to maple trees — that are moving with the climate.

Ecologists expect climate change to create mass alterations in the habitats of these “range-shifting” or “climate-tracking” species, as they’re sometimes called, which will reshuffle ecosystems in ways that are hard to predict. The migrations are critical to species’ ability to survive hotter temperatures.

Pretty much something that has always happened, and mankind helps by bringing the invasive species, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose. But, see, this is your fault for eating tasty burgers and ordering clothes on Amazon rather than making them yourself

The scientific community largely views this kind of habitat shift as a good thing, Wallingford and other ecologists told Vox. But the primary lens available to the general public and to policymakers is less forgiving. “Invasive species” is a concept so ingrained in American consciousness that it’s taken on a life of its own, coloring the way we judge the health of ecosystems and neatly dividing life on Earth into native and invasive. (snip)

Climate change and the range shifts it’s causing are extraordinary circumstances. If a species flees a habitat that is burning or melting, is it ever fair to call it invasive? Even outside of a climate context, this tension reflects a more fundamental problem within the invasive species paradigm. If the label is so stigmatizing that the only appropriate response feels like extermination, perhaps something else needs to take its place.

Sigh. They really have to make this all rather silly.

For example, invasives can be considered a threat not only by killing or outcompeting native species but also by mating with them. To protect the “genetic integrity” of species, conservationists often go to extraordinary lengths to prevent animals from hybridizing, environmental writer Emma Marris points out in her book Wild SoulsFreedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World. Consider the effort in North Carolina to prevent coyotes from breeding with endangered red wolves, which bears uncomfortable parallels to Western preoccupations with racial purity that only recently went out of fashion.

And now they try and drag raaaaacism into the mix, despite these being animals. Because all these people are bat shit insane.

That’s why some scientists look askance at the influence of invasion biology and argue that the field has a baked-in, nativist bias on documenting negative consequences of introduced species and preserving nature as it is. Invasion biology is like epidemiology, the study of disease spread, biologists Matthew Chew and Scott Carroll wrote in a widely read opinion piece a decade ago, in that it is “a discipline explicitly devoted to destroying that which it studies.”

Can we just get on to the alien invasion or a zombie apocalypse, so that these people would have real things to worry about, rather than just making up garbage?

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