There were a few times on the trip that we had some flies that rode with us from one state to another state. We worked hard trying to get them out of the van or dispose them but inevitably one or two would hide somewhere in the van and escape many hundreds of miles later. We often joked that they liked to travel and wanted to have a change of scenery as they often only left when we entered a new state.

I think we probably also unintentionally transport seeds, dirt, bacteria, and many other things. The introduction of foreign objects into an environment is a bitter battle for environmentalists. Many native species suffered greatly when a new species (by the way, I love the word “species” as it is both the singular and the plural form) was introduced to their environment, either intentionally–the introduction of Giant Marine Toads to Florida, Kahili Ginger to Hawaii –or unintentionally–the invasion of brown tree snakes to Guam and bees to Hawaii. When a new species was introduced to an environment where there was no natural predator, the new species would flourish and often took over the environment, devastated the native species. We often only learned about it until it was too late.

In this high tech world, everything is lightning fast. Rumors and computer virus can spread in seconds, good deeds in hours, and diseases in days. Luckily, many skills will still take months and years to master. It is not like 500 years ago when a disease could wipe out a whole region but other areas would escape unscathed. New Zealand has a tough law to keep their environment free of outside influence. I used to think they were paranoid but now I think it may be necessary to slow down the onslaught of foreign intruders. Same as information, we need filters to keep out spams. Are we really that evil?

Sometimes I have a different thought on this. We as human being are a part of this world. We influence the environment just like any other species. No doubt, thousands (if not millions) of species have died on earth so far. I am sure we didn’t kill them all. We are the biggest predators of the world. Perhaps we are accelerating the inevitable–the process of weeding out the weak species. Nevertheless, we should still do our best to minimize our impacts on the environment as much as we can.

With the mixed feelings, we, nevertheless, happily watched flies disappeared into their new home, out of our lives forever without compunction.