The author of a book on human-disrupted ecology pities the Everglades' pythons.
Puzzle note: Emma's take on the invasive snake problem in the Everglades is practical and mature -- and deserves to be mirrored in our best thinking on all of the problems throughout the Everglades.
Here is what she says about the python problem:
"Yes, insofar as they threaten native species in the Everglades, I wish we could undo that mistake and remove them all. But it ain’t gonna happen."
I accept her view. And expert snake people I know have voiced similar views. Unless you're a purist and want to fight to keep the Everglades as it was at the turn of the cenury, how can you not agree?
I also think we benefit from exteding this attitutude toward all of the Everglades' problems. Farms and the overpopulated cities and webworks of roads and powerlines should be viewed similarly -- if you're waiting to see them all undone, "it ain't gonna happen."
Unfortunatley, if you pay attention to the environmental battle over restoration, purists are driving the agenda. They won't accpet "It ain"t gonna happen."
The result is the waste of billions of dollars and time.
Conservation is needed. Restoration is right. Best management practices are great. Standards are guideposts. But pay attention, cetrain special interests are out to eradicate farming north of the Everglades. This is their definition of restoration. And it is a purist's definition.
And that stand is simply ensuring a battle that drags on and on when there are clear, acieveable environmental goals we could be, and should have been, achieving all along.
The pity is that, as with the snakes, too few people at this point are being realitsic. Man has changed the ecology of the Everglades . We can bring it back, yes. But probably not all the way. Certainly, not to some mythical state of original purity.
As Emma writes:
"Maybe I am going overboard on my “learn to love the inevitable changes” mantra. But it is really how I feel. If the choice is to fight for a pure Everglades and lose, or to work with nature as it changes and adapts to what we humans have done to planet Earth, respecting its dynamism and resilience as it shifts to new states, I vote for the latter. Just don’t call me a python hugger. That sounds painful."