Fake Fights About Big Forces

Oh dear, I thought this morning upon reading “Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?,” an op-ed piece in the New York Times by Arthur Middleton, a post-doctoral student. This is going to make lots of people hopping mad, and for no good reason. It comes on the heels of another challenge to the trophic cascade theory in Nature, by writer Emma Marris. Her piece is “Rethinking Predators,” and like Middleton, most of her evidence actually supports the assertion that carnivores at the top of the food chain have a big effect on what comes below. Yet both Marris and Middleton frame their pieces as take-downs of science done by scores scientists over decades of peer-reviewed research. I first learned

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