Beware of False Information on the Internet and in Journals

Sadly, even within SCIENCE and Scientific Publications, there has always been FRAUD. I was an "INNOCENT" as a student but have become wiser since then. You can TRUST and RELY upon the information published on this web-site!

Nowadays, not everything which is published can be trusted - just as one MUST be cautious, indeed SUSPICIOUS of what appears on the internet (and in too many journals)!

After much soul-searching, I feel obliged to observe that one must take especial care NOT to accept everything that is published in articles and reports by botanists in developing countries as accurate.  Given the challenges that are faced in such countries, I have a lot of sympathy with those who are trying their best but the TRUTH needs to be faced up to.  The governments of such countries must SWALLOW their pride and ACTIVELY encourage collaboration with developed countries, to help RAISE standards.  There are individuals in these developing countries who know this needs to happen.  International pressure needs to be brought "behind-the-scenes"....

There are HUNDREDS (if not thousands) of articles published in 'scientific' journals (the standard of which I question) about SUPPOSEDLY 'Rare and Endangered' or even more emotively 'Critically Endangered' plant species in various parts of the Himalaya.  Yet few (IF ANY) of these species are actually rare, let alone 'Endangered'.  For most of these I know they are in fact COMMON and under NO threat!  I know because I have actually been to many different parts of the Himalaya, go up into the mountains and can RELIABLY and ACCURATELY identify Himalayan plants.  How can local botanists, who mostly reside in their OFFICES (and most cannot identify plants correctly anyhow) possibly tell what is rare or abundant! That does not stop them publishing all sorts of inaccurate information, culminating in entries under CITIES!!  Yet they seem to be believed.....

The truth is NOBODY actually knows which species are RARE in the Western Himalaya because hardly any MEANINGFUL surveys have taken place and to be FAIR the area is vast, terrain often difficult and high altitudes are involved!  Herbaria (which are ESSENTIAL to help accurately name plants) are few-and-far between in India or other 'Himalayan' countries, difficult to access and mostly contain very poor quality specimens, making RELIABLE naming virtually impossible and to compound this, the government DISCOURAGES consulting foreign specialists.  Instead of PROPER surveys, botanists spend their time publishing SUPPOSEDLY 'new' species, in some cases found bear to the road-side during their FIRST, all-too-brief, visit. Many of these SUPPOSEDLY 'new' species, I suspect are no such thing.....

The GENUINELY rare plants have been ABANDONED to their fate, whilst the "authorities" FALSELY claim to be taking action......  Ever-increasing RULES and REGULATIONS which will DETER international collaboration further are coming into force under a "smoke-scree" of conserving biological diversity, when the TRUE reasons have NOTHING to do with protecting Himalayan flora, its environment or people.....

And certain NGOs who CLAIM to be 'saving' rare and endangered plants in danger of becoming EXTINCT (a FALSE claim) have not 'conserved' a SINGLE native species, get awards, substantial funding and accolades.  SOME MISTAKE SURELY?  They have been involved in a miniscule way with the cultivation of TWO plants which are NOT native to the region!  They may as well help grow POTATOES, which are also NOT native to the region!  How can growing species which DO NOT occur in the wild help PROTECT wild populations of plants?   Is this some sort of joke?

Whilst Chris Chadwell, who IS the leading authority on the STUDY, CULTIVATION and CONSERVATION of Himalayan flora, with particular expertise on WESTERN HIMALAYAN FLORA, gets NO support, NO funding and CRITICISM.

Strange that the "powers that be" are not backing his GENUINE "Save the planet's rare plants" campaign or perhaps it is not strange at all?



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