I was flicking around on my multiple channel TV the other night and ended up watching a film called Hot Tub Time Machine (2) – please be clear – this was an appalling film….however it did get me thinking. The films premise was a group of loser friends who fall onto a ‘time machine’ capable of allowing them to travel back/forward in time and to alter their lives for the better armed with knowledge of the future.
So if one could travel back in time what would I alter and would it make any difference? It is said that if one were to even step on an insect in some earlier version of life – this could have dramatic influence on the future? There is a film called ‘The Butterfly Effect’ which covers multiple versions of the main characters life as he tries to alter and improve his situation. Each improvement works well initially but then goes badly wrong as further developments change the situation.
My thoughts lean toward stopping the Victorians importing our current palate of problem plants?
Could we have prevented the spread of Japanese Knotweed? Maybe a word in the right ear (Mr Von Siebold??) might have opened the eyes of the people importing these plants and maybe they would have listened?
Actually it’s pretty unlikely ….imagine telling Mr Siebold that his prized Knotweed plant would be causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage in 2015! He would have laughed – I’m convinced nobody would believe the issues that have arisen from a simple plant introduction in 1840.
Maybe with a bit of time manipulation we could have perhaps introduced the Wildlife and Countryside act 100 years or so earlier?
Maybe we could send Trevor Renals (Environment Agency invasive species expert) back in time and get him to sort things out?
But…would the prevention of Japanese Knotweed be enough?
We’d also have to stop Himalayan balsam and Giant Hogweed as well as a multitude of others? …and if we did stop the import of these plants would ‘other’ species simply have thrived in their place?
Makes you think.