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The Flag of the World

-G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

This here blog is a glimpse or two or three at the condition of the 'fortress of our family' through the eyes Timothy Goddard, a Christian writer with an unhealthy interest in politics living in the Puget Sound area.

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

 

...and other living things
Some researchers have come up with the theory that the US army accidentally killed a few hundred Italian trees by bringing over a North American fungus with them when they set up camp there in World War II. So far, mildly interesting. But then one of them had this to say:
When planning military operations abroad, there is a need and a responsibility to check for potential microorganisms that could be introduced into foreign lands, and to take measures to prevent them from spreading.
That's right, someone actually said that--presumably with a straight face.

Look, I wasn't there, but I can guarantee you that the lives of a few hundred trees on an Italian hunting estate were the third to last concern of the Allied forces, after worries that Hitler's hair might get mussed in all the bombing, and that hanging Mussolini might have bent the light pole he was hanged from. Do they have any idea how many more trees were blown to smithereens in the Battle of the Bulge than were slowly choked to death by a poorly adapted fungus?

No one does "environmental impact statements" on wars, because the answer will always, always be the same: "it screws it all up." That's what war does, that's what it's there for. The idea that you should have some sort of limp-wristed fungi specialist running around and checking all of the equipment for potentially harmful microorganisms is so ludicrous that I would laugh if it weren't so thick.

It pains me the most because I do care deeply about biology, and so I hate to see someone make more of it than it really is.

(Of course, in the long run, some very rare wars actually can be good for the environment.)
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