In the thread about missing members, it was suggested that we just need to start more topics, so here is one:
Alberta has rat free status, many human diseases have been declared eradicated in recent decades ( until people stopped vaccinating their kids at least) counties try to prevent new invasive species, some people even think/believe/promote eliminating Carbon from the atmosphere. So given the enough motivation and resources eliminating an invasive species with large economic costs and very questionable benefits such as Canada Thistle should be possible, shouldn't it?
Given the demographic and technology trends, there will be ever more unemployed/underemployed, even unemployable people available for such make work projects. We will be paying them to do nothing anyways. Maybe have to pull weeds or inspect weeds for a day to collect the welfare cheque. How many more infrastructure make work projects (roads)will we need with an aging and declining population which no longer needs to, or cares to drive to work. Priorities will shift.
On the go weed ID coupled with Targeted weed spraying. How good will satellite resolution become at identifying species, maybe it already can?
Robotics, could potentially identify then mechanically remove weeds, even weed seeds and insects. Think Nanotechnology, and the potential to seek out microscopic bad guys.
GMO to create enemies or cross breeding of the species.
Increasing trend towards chemical free farming, so there is consumer support for such measures, they are already voting with their wallets. Eliminate the pest and eliminate the chemical control forever.
Borders, Nations can't agree on much ( except eliminating the evil CO2) North Korea type nations may not be interested in joining the party. Would be all but pointless if everyone isn't on board.
Private property rights. There will always be someone who doesn't want someone else trespassing on their private property for the good of society, especially if the control is chemical.
Weed seed banks, could take decades if ever to eliminate those.
Public will. The average tax payer has much bigger priorities in mind than helping "rich" farmers. Would need to bring Al Gore and a cute polar bear with a thistle barb stuck in his paw to create a PR
campaign. This is not a sexy issue that would win an election.
Defining a pest, my pest might be your pet, garden plant or even your source of income, and vice versa.
If we had devoted a small fraction of the money and effort to this, that has gone into the anti Global Warming fiasco, I suspect it would have been quite achievable. What do you think? Is it possible, would it be worthwhile? Would you support it? Could it be sold to Joe Public? Is it practical with current technology?