A Reader Notices an Unnatural Naturalist
February 10, 2003, 04:00 AM
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February 10, 2003

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One Week After Shuttle Tragedy, A Reader Ponders The H-1B Angle

Walter Pringle  writes:

This one is a keeper. In the Contra Costa Times Home & Garden section, no less. The author started out writing an article on non-native flora/fauna competing with native plants. But somewhere along the way his twisted muse spoke to him and with an astounding creative bolt, managed to turn this fairly "safe" subject into an anti- immigration reform screed. Is there some special weed these dudes smoke to come up with such creative leaps? I`m in the middle of brainstorming a new product idea - maybe I oughta call this guy and get ahold of some of that stuff.

Dec. 28, 2002
CHRIS CLARKE: THE IRASCIBLE GARDENER
Contra Costa Times

Exotic species threaten natives

[Discussion of the problems caused by exotic plants and animal info omitted.]

Further south, the National Park Service aroused the ire of animal rights activists when it decided to poison Anacapa Island`s black rats, which have been eating the eggs of the endangered Xantus` murrelet.

Similar controversies rage throughout the state. Battle lines have been drawn and harsh words exchanged, many of them conjuring bleak images of racial intolerance and ethnic cleansing.

That`s understandable, if unfortunate. Our history is chock-full of horrendous examples of poor treatment of ethnic minorities. We live in a state still influenced by the Chinese Exclusion Act, where wartime relocation of Japanese-Americans still has its defenders, where advocates of closing the Mexican border use terms like "plague" and "invasion" to describe people who pick their strawberries for 20 bucks a day. No wonder attempts to proselytize about invasive exotic species raise red flags for some folks.

But here`s the thing: Using that terminology on people is wrong. Using it on invasive exotic species isn`t. 

Hindrance, not boon

Human cultural diversity is a boon to California. We are all the same species, after all — a species, by the way, which is native to California — and it takes a special kind of idiot to claim that the state is the poorer for its wealth of human languages, cuisines, music and traditions. While a fair case can be made that there are just too many people of any culture living in the state, new people tend to add to the cultural diversity of the state rather than deplete it.

The same is not necessarily true of invasive exotic species. Take blue gum eucalyptus…

[VDARE.COM NOTE: You take it. At this point Mr. Clark returned to the discussion of plants and animals.]