I’m always a bit uncomfortable about the semantic linkage of one of my favorite artifacts (the Python computer language) and a terrifying invasive species. So I was a bit relieved by what Emma Marris said in defense of the python at Dot Earth.
I also think her sensibilities about nature are eminently sensible. Our task is not to make an inevitably futile attempt to freeze Nature at its state at the exact moment before human intervention. Our task is to make room for a dynamic natural world interwoven with our crowded human one.
This, ultimately, is what I think is wrong with the
“endangered species” view of the environment Endangered Species Act strategy (see comments). We don’t have much hope of protecting a species once it is in serious decline. We have no hope at all of protecting a habitat once it hits the limits of climate change.
My peculiar linguistic sympathies for pythons aside, all we can hope to do is to save some space for nature itself. And even that is a challenge.