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Ten newly discovered species in 2008

Wired magazine has a neat item about ten species of creature that were discovered in 2008. Alas, as the comments in the article suggest, some people remain far more interested in the species varieties that have gone extinct this year. What perhaps needs to be stated is that in a constantly changing world, species are evolving and others are dying out, even without the allegedly malign influence of Man. What the deep Greens often do not seem ready to concede is that species have been wiped out before without the help of us naughty bipeds.

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11 comments to Ten newly discovered species in 2008

  • There is a species of vetch in the eastern Columbia River Gorge that is being driven to extinction by environmentalists.

    They are trying to restrict grazing on federal BLM lands out there because of overgrazing causing sand blowouts on former dunes.

    But this species of vetch only grows on the edges of sand blowouts caused by overgrazing …

  • knirirr

    It’s nice to hear that someone appreciates this; one does get tired of excessive hand-wringing concerning extinctions.

  • It’s worth noting that none of the species listed are actually new species; they’re all creatures that were already there, we just didn’t know it. That differs from extinctions, where almost* always once an animal is gone it’s gone.

    The rate of extinction is the key factor, and that’s unaffected by the number of species we may discover at the same time.

    *The way extinctions are identified means they’re not always definitive; it’s hard to know 100% that the very last one has died.

  • Kevin B

    Of course the flip side of the good news is that wherever these new species are discovered it gives the state an excuse to barge in, put them on the pretty species list and ban any development that takes account of human needs.

    “You can’t build that much needed power plant here sunshine. We’ve just discovered a new species of butterfly that only nests in the scrubby, useless bit of land that you want to put it on!”

    “Two things. First, there’s a gazillion other species of butterfly out there and there are species dying out and evolving all the time.

    “And second, that’s just a cabbage white that you’ve spray painted the World Wildlife Fund logo on!”

  • I was just forced to watch this. Stay away.

  • RAB

    I read somewhere that 99% of all life that has ever existed on this planet, is already extinct.
    The one per cent seems to be going strong though.Plenty of diversity and what not.

    I heard that movie is a stinkeroo to Alisa.

  • Laird

    Alisa, that’s very disappointing to hear. I like Keanu Reeves; the original movie is a classic; and I was looking forward to seeing this remake. I may still do so, your warning notwithstanding.

  • The original “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is indeed a classic. Pure distilled totalitarian art.

    The visitor represents naked unapologetic overwhelming force… he tells people of Earth to order their affairs to the liking of aliens or be exterminated, no ifs buts or maybes… and he is portrayed as The Good Guy. Classic.

  • Laird

    Perry, that’s a little unfair. First of all, remember the times: it was 1951, and everyone was terrified that we were about to exterminate ourselves in a nuclear holocost. More importantly, though, Klaatu’s (and Gort’s) message was that we can screw ourselves up as much as we want, but if we leave Earth and screw up other civilizations there would be (dire) consequences. That’s a pretty libertarian message, don’t you think? Do what you like to yourself but don’t harm others.

  • Laird

    Well, despite Alisa’s warning I’ve now seen it (at an Imax theater), and the reviews are correct: it’s pretty crummy. Perry, it will interest you to know that this version (which follows neither the original movie nor the short story upon which it was based) is thoroughly statist in theme. In this one the alien comes to wipe out humanity because we are destroying the earth and there are too few habitable planets around to permit that to happen. In other words, it’s sort of a galactic eminent domain project: our property is “blighted”, and since they can put it to a “higher and better” use they claim the right to do so. Quite a different message than the original. (And the special effects weren’t all that good, either.)