Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pertetti article, nativism in the garden

I think the Jonah Peretti article is making a pretty big logical leap when he argues that opposition to invasive species is motivated (or at least has historical roots in) racism and bigotry. The two examples given are people in Nazi Germany who planted gardens with only native plants, and the fact that there were a lot of conservation biologists from apartheid South Africa who published on the topic. I really don't think these two examples illustrate much, and you cannot extrapolate from them that any modern biologist who studies invasive species has nativist, nationalist, or racist leanings.

In related news, the hemlock wooly adelgid insect has arrived in Tompkins County, fully 8 years before anybody expected it to. Am I a eugenic nativist because this news disturbs me? Or because I've seen too many forests in Massachusetts and Connecticut harmed by HWA? I just don't think its fair or valid for Peretti to make this particular claim.

1 comment:

Mariko said...

I agree with you...I don't agree with his connection between nativism and racism.

Coming from Hawaii, I can attest to the fact that alien species are extremely harmful to an ecological system. I strongly support the eradication of alien plants and animals because they are rapidly killing off so many indigenous species. But, just because I support this doesn't mean I'm harboring underlying racist motives.