I would like to reply to Graeme Carrad’s comments on my letter (Courier-Sun, online May 29, Problems with Sandy Radke’s brumby arguments).
Regarding using language that is emotional and romanticised, this works both ways. I no longer use the word feral as has been distorted from its original meaning to the point that, for some people it gives them license to be cruel. All, so-called, “feral” animals were brought here by humans, mismanaged by humans and then left to survive as best they can and now they are being punished. If I am romanticising the issue, I make no apologies for it.
I also value the environment, but I do not hold the (also romantic) notion that Australia must preserve an ecosystem from pre-European settlement. While humans must to try to mitigate their dominating impacts in the Anthropocene (as Graeme rightly points out) it is also true that the environment is ever-changing and species need to adapt. And many do, even when another species is introduced.
I am not “careful” in using the term “peer review” – I am quite deliberate. Peer review is an important process to ensure research is of a high standard and as objective as possible. It provides a degree of independent oversight of research design, methodology, analysis and logic by others in the field who are not directly involved in the research project. Perhaps peer review does not hold the weight that it did when I was at university but if so, it is a sad and worrying thing; important government decisions and use of taxpayer money deserve better.
As for the source links, apologies for the inadequacies. For those who wish to read some of the papers (which are peer reviewed) that inform my own views, you can access the following using the links below to Research Net. Once at the site you will need to click on Login for Free and follow the menus to get more than the abstract.