The headline read "Marauding bear remains on the
loose." Earlier, in the same newspaper, a fourth grade
student wrote, "I am concerned that bears are getting into
the dumpster at my school. " Montana? Idaho? No, New
Surely, with all the people that live in New Jersey, these
animals must be endangered? No, it's the people of New Jersey
who live with the daily prospect of a bear breaking into their
home, death on the highway if they crash into a deer, and the
filth left behind everywhere the geese take up residence who are
In 1998, after twenty-five years of living with the
Endangered Species Act, not one single species listed for
protection had recovered from its predicted extinction, nor been
delisted as the result of the Act's regulations.
Of the nearly thirty species removed from the
"endangered" list, seven were removed because they had
gone extinct. Four were determined not to be real species. Ten
were put on the list as the result of inaccurate data. Seven had
benefited from actions unrelated to the ESA.
The Endangered Species Act needs to be ended. Not only has it
cost billions in direct funding, it has cost billions more in
the way it obstructs every kind of development society requires
to maintain itself. People are going to jail and being fined for
protecting themselves, their livestock, moving a few frogs
someplace else, putting up a fence to avoid rattlesnakes; the
list of idiocy is a long one.
In 1984, Julian L. Simon and Herman Kahn, as a response to a
report entitled "Global 2000", the usual pack of Green
lies, published a remarkable book, "The Resourceful
Earth". Environmentalists have always used lies to shape
public policy with their claims. Among them was the report's
assertion that "Efforts to meet basic human needs and
rising expectations are likely to lead to the extinction of
between one-fifth and one-seventh of all species over the next
two decades." Do you think there's been a mass die-off in
the past twenty years?
The simple fact is that no one really knows how many species
currently exist. No one knows how many species have existed in
the past. Scientists, however, speculate that at least 90% of
all species that have existed have disappeared. Darwin was
right. The Greens believe that the rise of mankind has been
responsible for an acceleration of the extinction of species.
This fits neatly into their general contempt for mankind.
As Simon and Kahn point out, however, "no sources are
given" for the estimates of species extinction cited in
"Global 2000." If the wild projections of the report
were to be believed, a calculation would mean that about 40,000
species were lost each year, about a hundred times the observed
rate in the recent past. However, if you're going to lie about
extinction rates, you might as well make it a Big Lie.
It is essential that the lies of the Greens be challenged. In
September 2000, the World Conservation Union published its
"Red List of Threatened Species." It included some
18,000 species! These so-called conservationists claimed that
the "current extinction rate is 1,000 to 10,000 times
higher than it should be under natural conditions." What
proof do they offer? None! Humans do not occupy every square
mile of the earth. Vast rainforests and jungles, deserts and
plains are totally uninhabited. On a planet with an estimated 14
million species, of whom only 1.75 million have been documented,
how can they possibly know this? The answer is obvious. They
can't. Their report is bogus.
Endangered species make for a heart-tugging pitch for
legislation and donations to "save" them, but as Simon
and Kahn point out, "This task approaches, or surpasses,
the limits of any existing human knowledge. The threat here is
that we may overestimate our powers and underestimate our
ignorance, and take counter-productive steps based on
dangerously incomplete knowledge."
The Greens don't care how much is suffered by the human
species that shares the earth, just so long some obscure animal
species is "protected". Simon and Kahn concluded that
"Any policy analysis concerning species loss must
explicitly evaluate the total cost of the safeguarding
activities...and such a total cost estimate must include the
long-run indirect costs of reduction of economic growth to a
community's education and general advancement…"
In New Jersey, the short-run cost is what to do with all the
bears, the deer, and the geese? It is literally against the law
for anyone other than licensed hunters to reduce the vast herds
involved and Federal law protects the geese. I have driven
around my small, suburban town and seen dozens of deer feeding.
Fifteen minutes from downtown Newark, I have seen wild turkeys!
In Oregon, the short-run cost will be the farms and entire
way of life for its farmers. In early April, the Klamath Basin
farmers were told they were not going to get one drop of
irrigation water this summer! To "save" the Spinedace,
the Spikedace, the Loach, the Rio Grand Silvery Minnows, and the
Arkansas River Shinner, to name just a few FISH, agencies of the
US government have shut off water to those who lives are
dependent upon and devoted to the growing of food crops that
Americans expect to find in their supermarket.
The assault on our farmers will drive up the cost of food for
everyone. The US Fish and Wildlife Service introduced Red Wolves
into North Carolina where several immediately headed for an easy
source of food, the livestock on nearby farms. When farmers took
aim to protect them, they were taken to court! This kind of
thing has been repeated for years throughout the nation.
The assault on every developer who seeks to build new
housing, a new hospital, or any structure that might actually
benefit people and the economy, is based largely on the
"endangered species" myth, backed up and supported by
the force of law.
The ESA is so insane a law, it is even used to thwart the
training of our military. At Fort Irwin in California, soldiers
on this Army training center's battlefield are instructed to
cease training whenever they see a 12-inch round desert
tortoise, listed as threatened. This has been the standing rule
for fifteen years! As the commanding general of the base points
out to anyone with any common sense, "National security is
a factor here. We cannot afford to get our training wrong. If we
can't train the way we're going to fight, well, you sure don't
want to find out you forgot something during battle."
The most famous example of how the ESA is used to bludgeon
whole industries is the "Spotted Owl" hoax that led to
the loss of countless sawmills and timber operations throughout
the northwest. How many people lost their livelihood will never
been known. The owl is safe. The trees are safe. The cost of
every new home in America has risen by $5,000 to $10,000.
This is NOT about endangered species. It is a Green
instrument used to harm the interests and needs of human beings,
the one species environmentalists loath. It is one of the
primary means they use to raise millions of dollars annually.
Politically, it is an attack on everyone's property rights. To
protect those rights, the Endangered Species Act must be wiped
from the books and sanity must be restored.
Alan Caruba is the founder of The National Anxiety Center and
writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on its
Internet site (www.anxietycenter.com)
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