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Re: Extinction & Loss of Habitat

  • Subject: Re: Extinction & Loss of Habitat
  • From: "Phil Bunch" <pbunch@cts.com>
  • Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2001 11:11:01 -0600 (CST)

Actually there is one hopeful aspect to mass extinctions. They are
generally followed by "rapid" evolutionary radiations. Not of course
that we will enjoy the process since rapid in the evolutionary sense
is slow by our measure. We are losing much that is beautiful and/or of
interest. However, as we create many new habitats, something will
adapt to grow in or on them. I don't think that DNA will just give up.
In fact since we consider these new habitats to be ours, much of what
evolves will be seen as weeds or pests.  We just barely stay ahead of
the species we don't like.  There is no question that we will reap
what we sow.

Phil Bunch

-----Original Message-----
From: Ted.Held@hstna.com <Ted.Held@hstna.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <aroid-l@mobot.org>
Date: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 16:55
Subject: Re: Extinction & Loss of Habitat

>Thank you Ron,
>I am actually a good-natured person who likes to challenge
>views. And I agree with you completely about marmosets.
>I wish there were an alternative for those people who chop down the
>world to make a living. I think the majority are helplessly poor. And
>certainly don't know about the complexities of an ecosystem. I
believe one
>day we will solve the crisis, but I think quite a bit more
destruction will
>take place first. I am not in favor of it. I am resigned to it and
hope it
>can be minimized.
>I'll have to take your advice about American slang. I am quite
>about slang as I am the slang consultant for our European colleagues
>work here in the US (I work for Henkel of Duesseldorf, Germany). I
>that our coworkers arrive with a very good command of English but
>cannot understand anything discussed in our meetings.
>I have had two other comments to me from the list to my private
e-mail. The
>whole subject of extinction and the history of life is a passion of
>Thanks for responding.
>                    "Ron Iles"
>                    <roniles@eirco       To:     Multiple recipients
of list AROID-L
>                    m.net>                <aroid-l@mobot.org>
>                    Sent by:             cc:
>                    aroid-l@mobot.       Fax to:
>                    org                  Subject:     Extinction &
Loss of Habitat
>                    11/07/01 02:47
>                    PM
>                    Please respond
>                    to aroid-l
>Can I congratulate you on provoking discourse & then taking part most
>sensitively so that everybody could both agree & agree to disagree
>anybody losing their dignities in the face of hurt insecure egos!
If you
>or any other optimistic person was to be written off the list then I
>certainly not remain silent.   I would however request that you do
not use
>Yank-slang that we Old world peoplemost don't understand - like
"cool" &
>"parking lot".
>Obtusely under the above heading - If only marmosets could war
>visionless eco-terrorism, then I'd be the first to request instant
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <Ted.Held@hstna.com>
>To: "Multiple recipients of list AROID-L" <aroid-l@mobot.org>
>Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 4:16 PM
>Subject: One Last Comment
>I knew when this started that my comment would touch a nerve among
the more
>ideological among the list members. I guess I am just an optimist
about the
>world. Throughout the history of life (as we know it currently) there
>been some pretty remarkable cataclysms where the number of species
>been reduced dramatically by all estimates. It is probably the case
that at
>any given "stable" time that a large fraction of the extant species
>in a rather precarious situation. Something comes along and shakes
>up (and I suppose this could be construed as "habitat loss" except
that as
>that phrase is usually used in today's parlance it means the whole
>lot" business - not "natural" climate changes, vulcanization, meteor
>strikes, ice ages, etc.) and a host of the more specialized species
get the
>rug pulled out from under them. In fact, if the "trajectory" of all
>species present at any one time could be known and plotted, one would
>that some are on the ascendency, vigorous, robust, while others are
>decline, weak and prone to succumb to shocks of various sorts.
>some of the weak species are really cool from the parachial human
>perspective. A lot of the coolest plants that this list likes are in
>category. But from the standpoint of the history of the world,
>people like a particular life form does not matter very much.
>To be sure, people are now able to intervene in evolution in both
good ways
>and bad. We can make parking lots and we can artificially propagate
>plants and animals and keep them going. From the comments I read
about the
>Philodendron spiritus-sancti it is not clear why it is such a rare
>Maybe it is because some preferred habitat is now a parking lot.
Maybe it
>is because the plant was being overwhelmed by more successful species
>is hanging naturally on the edge of extinction. Someone brought up
>Franklinia issue a day or so ago.The reason Franklinia was hanging by
>thread when rescued had nothing to do with loss of habitat then.
There is
>no lack of habitat for Franklinia to be reintroduced into the "wild"
>The point is that species extinction is a really old thing and that
for the
>vast majority of extinctions human parking lot building had
absolutely no
>role. That this is happening today is not a valid opposing argument.
>I will now be silent on this topic unless people want to write me

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