Needless intrablogular drama-stirring

I recognize that there are certain aspects of Pharyngula’s corporate culture that are to be trifled with only at the risk of great social peril. I also recognize that Freethought Blogs as a whole might well be leary of new people coming on board and then immediately posting things that run counter to everything the community here stands for. PZ and I have agreed that my participation here is on an “at will” basis for that very reason. It’s a sound and well-justified measure.

But there are times when a person must say what she or he must.

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Native Invasive Species


Member of a native invasive species in a parking lot at Petrified Forest NP, AZ

Lauren Kuehne has an interesting guest post at the blog Conservation Bytes talking about one of the most persistent false dichotomies in the environmental world: native versus exotic species.

A drawback to the attention garnered by high-profile invasive species is the tendency to infer that every non-native species is bad news, the inverse assumption being that all native species must be ‘good’. While this storyline works well for Hollywood films and faerie tales, in ecology the truth is rarely that simple.

There’s a desert angle here that I’ll talk about after the jump, along with some videographic reptile squee. You have been warned.

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A little bit about the new guy

It’s an honor and a treat to have had PZ ask me to join him here at Pharyngula. Though there have been months lately where I haven’t been a particularly exuberant participant in the lively and collegial discussions here, my relationship with Pharyngula goes back a ways — back to ought-four, in fact, back when the blog was hosted on the Cray 2 in PZ’s undersea lair, and commenters underwent a series of strong electric shocks in an early form of CAPTCHA technology. It was just me and Hank Fox commenting back then, I think, and Old Man Buell the painter, and a giant ground sloth name of Shep. Good times.

Despite that long tenure, though, I haven’t been really active here all that much. I read regularly, but aside from that lurking, and the requisite supporting you all in email, I’m really kind of a newbie here. So a few things about me to get out of the way so you know who you’re talking to: [Read more…]