[Taxacom] Economist leader addressed to taxonomists

Frederick W. Schueler bckcdb at istar.ca
Thu May 17 20:30:21 CDT 2007


Doug Yanega wrote:
>> I thought this editorial on species inflation might be of interest to 
>> some here. cheer, colin
>>
>> http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9191545
> 
> This is a classic example of "bait and switch". The header mentions 
> conservationists, and then the text goes on to make it sound like 
> taxonomists = conservationists. It's like blaming a gun manufacturer 
> for someone who goes on a shooting spree using one of their guns. 

* and without mentioning any murders that have occurred.

Surely there are situations when conservation concerns are accused of 
prompting an elevation of a population to subspecies, and there could be 
a comparison between jurisdictions, such as the USA, where taxonomic 
status is required for  endangered status, in comparison with those, 
such as Canada, where any portion of a species range can be a 
'designateable unit.' And doesn't moist recent splitting come directly 
from the phylogenetic species concept, rather than from any other cause?

Also, what's this about Linnaeus' status as an economist? Googleing 
"Linnaeus economics" gives me even more than what I thought I 
remembered: "the forgotten economic theories of... Linnaeus believed 
that Sweden... should seek to replicate the diversity of the world on 
Swedish soil. Koerner provides a dismal menu of his failed projects -- 
pearls and tea are particularly spectacular fiascos -- and his equally 
unfortunate Scandocentric anthropological adventures among the Sami of 
Lapland, as he plotted to destroy the basis of his admiration for that 
indigenous culture by exploiting the natural resources upon which it 
relied for sustenance."

fred.
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