Short-term V Long-term
Camphor laurel infestations of the Far North Coast of NSW (1901 - 2005) have caused cumulative economic and environmental impacts, as well as social impacts over recent years, the extent of which is still not yet fully quantified.
One thing is certain by now: Camphor laurels' gross spread and growing range of impacts represent a 'classic example' of a cumulative long-term ecological problem. Such long-term problems are rarely researched by short-termist universities, funded by and cut to the bone by 3-4 year accountants in each and every 'political timespan'.
Yet, the link between short-termist science and long-term 'ecological science' has been quantified (12-15 years), coined as 'The Sustainable Timespan' (Friend 1993) for land-based, soil-dependent civilisation/s.
By constraining current science in all of Australia's universities to the ultra short-termist 3-4 year 'Political Timespan', wielded by accountants, directed 'at length' by politicians, the remnant ecology and biodiversity of the country will continue to suffer – and species get lost – until there is a decisive/ethical reversal in temporal thinking.
To this end, the Author has adopted a 12-15 year framework for completion of the essential long-term ecological and field research/es needed to professionally evaluate the total impact of Camphor laurel on NSW Northern Rivers ecology.
Joe A Friend
See also: Survey Methods