Discovery that over-harvested plants are slowly disappearing concerns some

19 01 2008

NewsBBC News has just released a dispiriting article on the gradual disappearance of many important medicinal plants. After collecting information from over six hundred members of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, it was revealed that 400 plants are at risk of becoming extinct. Local cultures as well as worldwide medicine-producing companies are worried about the disappearance of the plants. And we have no idea why they are disappearing…

Oh, wait, yes we do! They are being harvested by the same companies that are worried about their gradual depletion. And this was just discovered now? Someone finally realized that the Earth doesn’t have an infinite supply of everything? This reminds me of a certain oil crisis that is rocking the world at the present. Something extremely valuable to nearly every citizen of the planet is being destroyed voluntarily. It’s unfortunate that they both are so nonrenewable.

Oh, wait, plants are! In fact, I am fairly certain that a majority of them take a relatively short time to grow. I am also fairly certain that they are inexpensive to grow and for the most part easy to replace. Why is this news being reported as if the entire future of medicine is at risk when there is an obvious cure sitting before us? Who are the company owners insisting that plants necessary for company survival be harvested to extinction before realizing that they probably should have grown some replacements?

It’s like if an old-fashioned farmer grew his crops and sold them, only to discover he forgot to keep any seeds to plant for the next season. Only this time around, the lives on the line and the money involved are thousands of times greater. Considering this is an international effort, I’m surprised the entire future is being overlooked just for the sake of some quick money.

Oh, wait, no I’m not.