IN A CONVERSATION with Carl Schlyter (former EU-parlamentarist), Göran Greider (socialist and editor in chief at the Swedish post "Dalademokraten") says that when he asked the question whether man is equal or worse than the Large-Leaved Lupine as an invasive species, he was told that he was an Ecofascist.
It reminds me of when, during a lecture by Birger Schlaug (former green party politician), I asked the question whether Mankind is not to be regarded as a virus on planet earth. I was then told that such thoughts lead to fascism.
I'm really fascinated by how bad it is with self-criticism when it comes to one's own species. Just a hint that it might be the case that it is man, and not all these pests that man is trying to eradicate, that is the greatest damage. Yes, then you are quite guaranteed to meet those who not only refuse to listen, but who go on the counterattack and make comparisons with Hitler and Mussolini, with pure racism and extremism.
One can understand that animals react instinctively, so do humans most of the time. But one would also think that people also have the ability to ignore instinct and think a little longer. Above all, to be able to stand outside oneself and try to judge man in the same way as one judges other beings on the planet.
According to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, a species is invasive if it spreads mercilessly and takes over the niches of other animals or plants. It should also be harmful in some way. For example. Björnlokan is considered harmful because people can get burns from it. You must then make an effort to break it off, get plant juice on the skin and expose it to strong sunlight, which of course is fairly easy to avoid.
The killer snail, which is actually a Spanish forest snail, has accompanied man's transports of soil and moved to new areas where it can become numerous and cause inconvenience to the gardener by eating lettuce and other plants that man wanted for himself. For species other than humans, the Spanish forest snail is hardly a problem.
Here in Uppsala, there are two invasive species that have spread along all roads, rivers and ditches. It's the Russian old man and the herb. None of the species are listed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency as invasive species.
The interesting thing is that all these invasive species have been spread by humans! So it is not the species themselves that have become invasive, it is man who has implanted them, voluntarily sometimes, but mostly involuntarily through our lifestyle.
Mankind has spread throughout the planet as no other animal has succeeded in doing. There is barely a square meter on the planet where humans have not walked. Man is adaptive and has managed to adapt to the most inhospitable areas of the earth. In northern Siberia it will be -50 degrees in the winters, yet there are people who live there permanently. In Antarctica, there are settlements, even if only for research. In the highest mountain areas where the air is so thin that it is barely enough to oxygenate the body, people also live there.
Man takes over the habitat of other species more than any other species on earth. Man pollutes, burns down and destroys forests, fields and seas when he conquers the land. It is quite obvious that man meets all the requirements to be invasive, and to an extent that no other invasive species has succeeded with.
Should action be taken against this invasiveness? Yes, you would do that if some other species behaved the way humans do, so the answer is pretty obvious. Mankind is also affected by the destruction it brings to the world as a consequence of exploiting new environments.
We humans must simply realize that it is a must for a sustainable future, that we regulate our expansion and retreat to provide habitat for all the other species on the planet. If not for the sake of these species and life forms themselves, then at least for the sake of man. We have nothing to gain from destroying the planet on which we are to live.
Man must retreat through decreased growth, we must reduce our numbers and reduce our consumption to reduce our impact on the environment in which we live. These are simply prerequisites for sustainable development.
It's about time to do something about the world's most invasive species.
Greenpeace podcast - System change