30 May 2007

species inflation

Mark Perry posted about the idea of species inflation. My natural tendency is to be skeptical of his statement:
Upgrading subspecies into species simultaneously increases the number of rare species (by fragmenting populations) and augments the biodiversity of a piece of habitat and thus its claim for protection.
however, one wonders just how much science is being manipulated on the non-Bush end to justify policy changes. i have no doubt that all scienticians in this debate have some ax to grind.

1 comment:

  1. One of the points that ecologists are hard pressed to make to the uneducated public (and public policymakers) is that our ecosystem is very diverse, very complex, and still barely understood. A subspecies may have a dramatic impact on overall ecology in the long run, but we won't know if we destroy the fragile balance that sustains it. At least not until it's too late. Because the policymakers aren't scientists, and can't make that kind of a judgement call on their own, scientists are forced to become politicians, and dumb things down in order to influence policy. Like make more species in order to protect them. Thus, those of us that are smart might pick up on the dumbing down process, and frown. What we need to realize is that real science is going on behind the public policy facade.