When Will Our Human Invasive Species Trigger WWlll?

By Donald A. Collins | 27 October 2022
Church and State

(Photo: Dreamstime.com)

Watching the WETA documentary here in DC on lionfish on October 26, 2022, it was starkly clear that their abundance rapidly grew into a worldwide threat to fish populations everywhere.

It is now a worldwide problem as NOAA says, “Lionfish are native to coral reefs in the tropical waters of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. But you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to see them. This is an invasive species that threatens the well-being of coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, including the commercially and recreationally important fishes that depend on them. NOAA and its partners are working hard to develop ways to prevent further spread and control existing populations.”

NOAA action plan is now fully underway as it reports,

NOAA has created an Invasive Lionfish Web Portal. It’s a clearinghouse for all things related to lionfish outreach and education, research, monitoring, and management.

NOAA researcher and lionfish expert Dr. James Morris hosted a lionfish symposium at the 2014 meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute in Barbados. An earlier workshop focused on harvesting invasive lionfish found that:

  • An invasive lionfish food fish market is practical, feasible, and should be promoted.
  • Alternative invasive lionfish end-uses, such as the curio and aquarium trade, are also viable markets.
  • Regarding consumption and the risk for ciguatera poisoning, invasive lionfish should not be treated differently than other tropical fish species and a general caution statement should be displayed within all establishments that serve fish and on all fish products.
  • Local control is effective at minimizing invasive lionfish impacts at local scales and should be encouraged where possible.

Though no confirmed cases of ciguatera poisoning from eating lionfish have occurred, fears persist. If lionfish are proven to be safe, and if cost-effective harvest and distribution mechanisms are developed, small-scale fishermen may be able to capitalize while simultaneously helping to control the invasion.

Cooperation and communication among local, state, federal, and international partners is crucial for proper management of lionfish and other widespread invasive species. The Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force developed a National Invasive Lionfish Prevention and Management Plan (pdf, 69 pages). NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program developed a lionfish plan that will guide the management of this invasive species in the affected sanctuaries in the Gulf and southeastern United States. Together, these plans will guide the management of invasive lionfish and ensure that all are working toward common objectives.

View an animated map of lionfish spread.

The WETA documentary argued that  the present aggressive harvesting of lionfish will likely reduce the dangerous threat to manageable levels.

You can read the full story about NOAA’s action here.

I was struck to hear as the program closed that one of the documentary’s commentators pointed out how lionfish growth compared to the invasive growth of human numbers.

Since 1930 human numbers on Earth have doubled 4 times from 2 billion to nearly 8 billion and effects on climate, poverty, famine and war in the 20th Century and now are obviously going to get worse. Projections suggest that there will be 11 billion humans on Earth by 2100.

I would argue that that number will never be reached for the reasons I articulate here:

The world is now armed to a level never seen before and as the Washington Post brilliantly reported our retired senior military officers are out selling our technology for consulting fees to foreign countries, friend, and foe alike.

The escalating use by the ruthless Putin of Iranian supplied drones in destroying Ukrainian infrastructure puts new focus on how Putin will stop at nothing to achieve his Ukrainian goal, despite losing on the battlefield.

The Ukrainians on their side are now saying victory for them includes taking back all the territory the Russians illegally occupied including Crimea.

Now we learn from the just released Washington Post stories that our retired generals and admirals are getting paid consulting fees to pass along their expertise and our secret military technology to foreign governments, some not friendly to us.

In short, like allowing US citizens to own military weapons like MR-15s, the world is so armed that mutual assured destruction (MAD) is no longer fantasy—if it ever was thought to be!

WWI started by miscalculation and human ego. Its futility was perfectly symbolized by the Battle of Verdun in which stalemated armies locked in trench warfare. Read this history here.

The world suffered WWII by the improbable rise of Hitler. While heroic efforts like the founding of the United Nations and the passage of agreements on nuclear treaties, now we have Putin who is cornered and nuclear.

And now in the USA, the world’s greatest democracy, Americans are armed with as many guns as people (340 million)!

And Americans seem more worried about inflation than democracy or human rights like abortion choice.

As WWIII prospects improve, we face the horror of seeing the further rise of Trumpian authoritarianism, perhaps in the persons of his clones like Florida governor DeSantis! But no-Trump indictment yet in our constipated legal system!

Steve Bannon’s sentence of 4 months is a joke. But Mark Mazza who took 2 loaded guns into the Capitol as he led attackers just got sentenced to 5 years in federal prison. Guess the more guilty you are—remember Bannon imprecation about being in DC on January 6th as “it’s going to be wild”??—the milder the punishment—so far at least!

Still far from certain are the Chinese intentions about Taiwan. And Putin in a corner could escalate to that MAD first step.

Many who do not see Biden favorably but the track we are on makes me cringe at the thought of Trump types taking over our Congress with these frightening trends alive everywhere!

Major point: We do NOT have to take coercive steps to reduce human numbers if nations understood the urgency of acting now to provide family planning methods for women worldwide, realizing that if we don’t the disasters ahead are inevitable.

No, I am not suggesting that we eat humans as NOAA suggests for lionfish. However, after years of expressing the urgency of this overpopulation  message, I can recommend a just published powerful book by my son, Donald A. Collins, Jr entitled “Women Deserve Free Contraception”.

However, with the June 24th Supreme Court decision on Dobbs and the overall lack of world leadership in treating the root cause of planetary disruption, population, I am not an optimist.

So Again, How Close Are We To WW III? Closer that world leadership imagines, as even the climate temperature limitations widely agreed upon by the world’s leading nations are not being met according to the Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.

Of course, Guterres doesn’t urge increased voluntary action to reduce the grave human numbers threat in this year’s World Humanitarian Day adddress. He said, “Today, the number of people who need humanitarian assistance has never been higher, because of conflicts, climate change, COVID-19, poverty, hunger and unprecedented levels of displacement. On this year’s World Humanitarian Day, we celebrate humanitarians everywhere.” — António Guterres in World Humanitarian Day video message.

Not exactly a vigorous population reduction message!

Former US Navy officer, banker and venture capitalist, Donald A. Collins, a free lance writer living in Washington, DC, has spent over 50 years working for women’s reproductive health as a board member and/or officer of numerous family planning organizations including Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Guttmacher Institute, Family Health International and Ipas. Yale under graduate, NYU MBA. He is the author of “From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013”, “Trump Becoming Macbeth: Will our democracy survive?”, “We Humans Overwhelm Our Earth: 11 or 2 Billion by 2100?”, “What Can Be Done Now to Save Habitable Life on Planet Earth?”, “Vote”, “Can Homo Sapiens Survive?” and “Will Choice and Democracy Win?”.

Are we heading toward World War III?

United Nations: World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion By November 2022

Reverse climate change or “we are doomed” warns United Nations

Sir David Attenborough on overpopulation

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