Militaristic Tone

February 24, 2010

Larson argues in “The war of the roses: demilitarizing invasion biology” that when people freely misuse militaristic comparisons to describe invasive species, they might ruin scientific objectivity or cause the opposite of an intended reaction. Larson proposes that we should not compare invasive species management to fighting a war; we should instead choose more informative metaphors that could promote prevention and acceptance.

I chose the blog post, Invasion of the Frankenfish (SW3) by ajg31.

The blog post opens, “Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to environments that they infringe upon…” (ajg31 2010). This firm introduction sets the tone for the rest of the post. The invasive species discussed (the Snakehead) is then viewed as the enemy, and the post ends, “Legislation such as this are major steps in the direction of effectively controlling the Snakehead population.” Taken out of context, the idea of population control brings to mind a militaristic tyranny, a struggle for power.

I agree with Larson’s argument that militaristic metaphors may not be that effective. The war comparison is used so much that I feel that it has become impotent. Invasive species aren’t always the enemies; sometimes it is we humans that are at the root of the problem as Larson suggests with the bulldozers/fire ants example.

References:

Ajg31. 2010. Invasion of the Frankenfish (SW3). WordPress Blog

http://sites.duke.edu/aquaticinvasives/2010/02/09/invasion-of-the-frankenfish-smithsonian-february-2005-aquatic-invasive-species-are-a-serious-threat-to-environments-that-they-infringe-upon-since-many-of-them-tend-to-be-competitors-with-many-of-the/

Larson, B. M. H. 2005. The war of the roses: demilitarizing invasion biology. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3: 495-500.


Invasion of the Frankenfish (SW3)

February 9, 2010

Smithsonian, February 2005
Aquatic invasive species are a serious threat to environments that they infringe upon since many of them tend to be competitors with many of the native species present. Studies done on the Northern Snakehead (Channa argus), also known as “Frankenfish” have shown that many North America water bodies are in danger of invasion by this crafty critter. One of the main concerns scientists have concerning this predator are due to its ability to survive for extended periods of time out of water, in turn being able to effectively move from one body of water to another via land.
In a study done by H. Fields at the Smithsonian, it was discovered that the Northern Snakehead has in fact invaded the Potomac River and is either eating other fish or outcompeting them for food. Some who oppose the spread of this invader suggest the use of poisons to eradicate the Snakehead population, but a method such as this provesto be unattainable in practice since any form of poison would kill off all fish species and not exclusively the Snakehead. However, the Northern Snakehead is classified as a “regulated invasive species” meaning that the transfer of this species is illegal in the United States. Legislation such as this are major steps in the direction of effectively controlling the Snakehead population.


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