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CITES protection of the environment.

  • Subject: CITES protection of the environment.
  • From: Riley2362@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2001 01:18:06 -0500 (CDT)

I think that Tim's attitude is one that is highly dependent on a blind belief
that government regulation is effective in protecting the environment.  It is
also contingent on a belief that the CITES committee knows more about the
plant population of the world than the people and countries in which the
plants grow.  Many of their listings are highly speculative, politically 
motivated, and not very informed.  While I am in favor of environmental 
protection, I would not presume to know if we (mankind) should stop the 
wheels of evolution by
protecting and preserving every species of plant and animal in existence -
somebody is going to lose out in the end. Those of you who have observed any 
plants growing in the wild know that more destruction is accomplished 
routinely by native populations of people and other animals, than any plant 
collector ever will.  One only needs to witness the routine burning of 
Central and South America or the simple overgrazing of cattle to know that no 
law by any government will control extinction or evolution.  
All that rolled together tells me that - while it seems likely that 
somebody's law was broken, in the case of Pepe Portilla, it would also seem 
that the priorities are a little "out of whack" here.  There is a Colombian 
"plant importer" on my streetcorner this very moment who has imported a 
thousand times more  dangerous plants than a few "old" cycads, and the 
authorities have no interest in him - perhaps it's the crystalline purity of 
his plants that assures them that they are free of nematodes and all other 
harmful substances.  Send that wired guy over please.
- Michael Riley in Neuva York

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