‘Science done for feel-good reasons is not science’

Published: 6/12/2019 8:57:44 AM

All industries, such as hunting (bush meat), logging (cutting down whole native trees), biomass (cutting down whole native trees), maple syrup (removing sap from native trees) operate within a species’ forest and necessarily are harmful to that species’ forest. People who believe we can shamelessly manage and intermingle with the natural world believe in this feel-good idea.

This 21st century we are no longer part of nature. We have to get out. The young people are discovering this; everything we touch, we harm. The old 20th century ecologist thinking was, “Yes, we can manage nature. We can intermingle with nature.” In the late 20th century, my fellow students of biology went on to get career jobs doing just that. They were convinced that scientific studies would allow them to sap the strength of the forests, grasslands, deserts and seas without doing any harm. Science done for feel-good reasons is not science. Climate people, ethical vegan people, ethical atheist people, socialist democrats and free-thinking Millennials are questioning feel-good solutions.

Let’s put it this way: would anyone think it a great and harmless idea to tap all the maple trees of the Species’ Forest conservation 80-acre set-aside located in Conway? What about hunting, biomass, logging, or foraging? Such uses of the deep woods are encouraged by the other land trusts which operate in these mountains. How do I know this? They told me and they have told the communities this.

It is clear that the maple syrup industry is just like any other forest-gleaning industry. It is not based on conservation principles. Indeed, conservation principles are conveniently used to rationalize. One clue is the operators are never ethical vegan. Eating the animals of the forest or the fish of the sea is really not respecting the forest or the sea. Compare this with a worldwide ocean conservation organization which is the sea animals’ true protector and which has only vegan galleys.

The word conservation means to serve or with service. You can serve only one client in a proceedings. All attorneys know this. So, if you say you are a conservationist whom or what do you serve? Is the maple syrup industry serving the deep woods of a species’ forest?

Richard H. Stafursky is president of Species Forest Inc., a land trust of Massachusetts.

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