Enlisting the next generation

Even an army poses little threat to invasive pythons of Everglades“. Then why on earth are we forming one?

Photo: Corey Perrine

Although some from within invasion ecology have acknowledged calls for more peaceful metaphors to replace the currently dominant militaristic and aggressive ones, ‘invasions’, ‘wars’ and ‘armies’ are still commonplace, particularly in the public and informal invasive species management spheres.

In the example referenced above we (the environmentally aware public) have formed a ‘citizen militia of nearly 800’  otherwise referred to as a ‘contemporary torch and pitchfork battalion’ to ‘locate and dispatch a stealthy, well-camouflaged invading force’. This army is being formed knowing full well that it will not ‘win’ – nor is it likely to make any environmental difference whatsoever.

It seems that militaristic and aggressive metaphors have become so commonplace that they have eliminated any other way of thinking about or responding to novel or invasive species.

This is alarming.

What is more alarming is that a new generation is being enlisted to join this delusional ‘fight’, and that this is being done in the name of ‘conservation’. Passing on responsible environmental messages and ethics to kids (such as the 12 year old pictured above with a machete in his hand) is really important. Fighting species through unwinnable wars is likely to breed despair rather than passion for conservation and is likely to foster discontent with any ecosystem affected by invasive species. Not a great message for kids, whose environments will be more affected by invasive species than ever before.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s