Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"First, Kill All the Burmese Pythons"

Kudos to Jonah Goldberg for proposing a brilliant solution to South Florida’s Burmese python problem.

By now you have heard the bad news. Pet lovers in South Florida imported all manner of Burmese pythons. When the snakes ceased to be cuddly, these eco-friendly pet lovers let them loose in the Everglades.

Goldberg describes the problem: “I understand that the serpents are very well suited to survive in the Everglades, they have no natural predators, they possess the ability to swim and go without food for up to a year, and the native animals have no natural fear of giant snakes etc etc. Ecologists talk as if this is a lost cause. This amounts to blanket amnesty for illegal immigrant giant snakes.”

Sounds like an eco-calamity, doesn’t it?

As a good Republican, Goldberg opposes blanket amnesty. Fair enough. He also opposes the creation of yet another government bureaucracy to study the problem. Goldberg states correctly that bureaucrats would try to solve the problem by getting into the business of raising snakes.

His solution: put a bounty on Burmese pythons. Let the hunters loose in the Everglades and pay them to kill as many of the snakes as they like. I suggest that we send S. E. Cupp to Florida to lead the charge.

It’s a free market solution.

Goldberg describes his plan: “But, are you telling me that during a time when unemployment is outrageously high, the government can’t put a bounty on snakes and get results? I don’t know what the right number is but for the sake of argument if we had a hunting season in which you could bring in unlimited number of Burmese pythons for $50 per pound, my hunch is Burmese pythons would be erecting memorials to the great snake genocide of 2012.”

Instead of wasting money hiring bureaucrats to produce reports explaining how dire the situation is, we would be incentivizing results. For once stimulus funds could be put to good use. 

It's best to get going on this before some bureaucrat decides that Burmese pythons are endangered species.

For the record, I have re-used Goldberg’s great title: “First, Kill All the Burmese Pythons.” It's a variation on a line in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, part 2: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

1 comment:

Dennis said...

This is a much larger problem than one might think. Florida also has a number of species, both plant and animal, that are doing tremendous damage to the indigenous plants and animals. Whether one wants to admit it or not, there is a war going on in nature and many people who think they are being kind are only doing damage to other plants and animals.
If it is not indigenous to Florida, PLEASE don't bring it to Florida.
Why is it that most people who call themselves environmentalist know almost nothing about nature except what they learned from a Disney cartoon?