I thought it was kind of silly how often I have seen blogs commenting on the story about Bette Midler cutting down her own trees in Hawaii. We should be supporting her property rights, not searching around for trivial examples of supposed hypocrisy. However, I did note this line from Midler's spokesman:
"The whole idea with cutting the trees down was with the idea of
improving the lot with native species" instead of the nonnative,
invasive species that had grown there, Graham said. "It's unfortunate
that a mistake was made."
Given that the island rose out of the sea as volcanic molten lava, my wild guess, without having a degree in botany, is that most all the plants and animals in Hawaii are non-native. For example, the Big Island only rose out of the sea less than 500,000 years ago. I am pretty sure no trees came up with the lava.
This strikes me as a common form of environmental anthropomorphism -- "Normal" is defined as the condition in which man has observed things over the last 200 or so years, a blink of the eye in geologic time. So the only allowable plants and animals are those that existed at the moment man started to observe a certain location. In the same way, "normal" for world temperatures is defined as what we observed them to be in about 1950. Climate and nature and geology follow multiple cycles and trend lines, some of which stretch for millions of years. It is hubris to say that we know what "normal" is.