Neil Jones' responses

Anne Kilmer viceroy at
Mon Jan 7 09:30:56 EST 2002

Chris J. Durden wrote:

> Thank you Felix Sperling for a response to Neil Jones, that I think a 
> lot of the rest of us will agree with. I cherish both virgin old-growth 
> vegetation and virgin successional vegetation, they are home to 
> different sets of equally valuable animal species. There is just more 
> diversity in the successional species set. Neither Rush nor Neil seem 
> right on this one.
> .................Chris Durden

Neil is in great distress, watching the little beautiful places around 
him die, replaced with urban and suburban squalor, non-native weeds 
(Buddleja, for godsake) that have muscled their way in and crowded out 
the choice little natives. He is watching the loss of some species, 
replaced by others more common, more easily supported by a wholesale 

I, too, am in distress. I am watching all this happen in Ireland, as 
well as in South Florida, and there is no euphoric that will effectively 
suppress my horror, pain, rage and guilt. I am equally distressed at the 
huge supermarket that has been built in Westport, Mayo, Ireland, 
replacing my favorite little hardware stores, one of which was good on 
tools; the other paint, and lessons on how to use the tools.
The fellow who smokes his own salmon is hanging on by an eyelash, he's 
only there sometimes, in his tiny shop, and it's easier to buy my smoked 
salmon from the supermarket, so I do that. This is a sin and I do it 
knowingly, just as I drop the jam jar into the trash instead of rinsing 
it and putting it into the recycling. It is a sin, and I am sorry for it.

It is one thing to sin secretly and to repent. It is another to claim 
that sin is a virtuous act, and to recommend it to the innocent who come 

There is, we are promised, a special hell for people who falsify 
results, lead people astray, poison the babies' milk with formaldehyde 
and claim it's a health benefit ...

  It is not the province of this list to assign people, whether 
subscribing to this list or not, to that special hell. But please, 
understand our pain when we see someone weighing short-term personal 
gain against long-term general good ...

There was a fellow a while ago, on this list, who explained that we are 
not really losing species for, although some go extinct, we are 
continually creating more species ... yes, folks, all those special dogs 
and cats and sheep can make up to us for the flower fly and the snail 
darter. (Neil didn't like him, either, as I recall.)

The leopard does not change his spots nor the Ethiopian his skin. Paul 
Cherubini will continue to tout DDT and sing the praises of eucalyptus; 
Ron Gatrelle will continue to toss his hat in the ring, Mark will quote 
inflammatory sections of the Bible (but takes us along on wonderful road 
trips); Ken Philip will continue to provide the voice of reason when he 
can't stand it another minute, Chris Durden will provide balance ...
Balance, that's the word I was looking for.

But we all meet in that bloody ground where we shop at the supermarket 
and mourn Vincent Bourke's shop, so soon to go under.
Few of us are comforted for the loss of the Xerces blue, by the fact 
that the exotic eucalyptus is just the place for the Monarch to roost.

It is perhaps as well that we have among us at least one voice that 
defends and praises change, because after all, change is what we are are 
about, we human beings, and perhaps it is as well to take an honest look 
at it.

Like it or not, the train has left the station, and somebody here had 
better learn how to drive. This sucker is a space ship, changes are 
taking place, and the matter at hand is that we must decide what we're 
taking with us, whether we're headed for Mall World tunneled into a 
snowball, or learning to control the planet's weather. Because anything 
we don't pack, it ain't going.

On a trip like this, we need Paul, if only because he makes the 
scientists take the time to pause and explain to the rest of us why he 
is so disastrously wrong. Or, occasionally, actually quite right.

We also need Neil, but Neil, Neil, you promised, keep it to your web 
page, just refer people there. I was around when He Who May Not Be Named 
was posting to this list, as part of his Community Service after his 
conviction ... and let's just leave it on the archives, please, we don't 
want to hear it all again.

As part of my plan for Mall World, I'll be needing all those breeders to 
produce suitable butterflies for the plazas. What an opportunity to save 
all the other species as well?
Let's not need to do that. But let us not eliminate the part of the 
population that will be able to do that, if need arises.
Anne Kilmer
South Florida


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