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Blog item: George Bush Tried to Kill Bambi in Mac-Attack

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1 comment on Dec-16-2008   Add a comment   Author:  PT (Dec-16-2008)    Play a Video
Categories: Philosophical & Quality of Life, Political, Sustainable Living, Wildlife and Nature

Get rid of the Endangered Species Act and you might as well shoot down Bambi
Shoot Bambi, or not? (courtesy redmolotov.com)

Well, apparently it was not enough to try and muzzle Dr. James Hansen, the leading climatologist at NASA, and for political (read: scientifically unaware) appointees to re-write the reports and recommendations of EPA scientists.

It has now become clear that the Bush Administration has been attempting to sidestep the Endangered Species Act, which is managed by the Department of the Interior.  The manager of endangered species policy there was one Julie A. MacDonald, who resigned in 2007 after the Interior Department's own inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found that she "had run roughshod over agency scientists and violated federal rules by giving internal documents to industry lobbyists"  A real case of MacPolicies running a critical environmental operation.

Now, in 20 recent reviews by the inspector general of old policy decisions in the Interior Department, corruption of the process was found in 15 cases, of which 13 involved Ms. MacDonald.  Unfortunately, according to the New York Times, this has already led to land use decisions that would not have otherwise been permitted if various species had been protected as the scientific information indicated.  It is not clear immediately whether that damage can be undone to some significant degree, although some of the cases that were questioned had already been resolved in favor of the science by courts.

If anyone wishes to question whether this was rogue action by one loose cannon, as opposed to systematic policy of the current Administration of George Bush, one should view the accompanying video, as well as remembering that the president appoints the leadership of each department, including the Department of the Interior and its secretary, Dirk Kempthorne.  This is not necessarily an accusation against Dirk Kempthorne, but at the least it is clear that he was unable to maintain respect for science in his department, possibly due to providing undue weight to orders from "above", and possibly due to knowing who was buttering his bread.

Julie A. MacDonald meets with off-road-vehicle industry lobbyist to open up Sonoran Desert
Julie A. MacDonald and off-road-vehicle industry lobbyist

Looking deeper than this case of corruption of the intentions of Congress when it passed the Endangered Species Act, there looms the question whether we as a species will be willing and able to listen to the warning signs that the planet provides to us.  Extinctions of animal species on a wide scale is a strong warning signal that the stability of large ecosystems is at risk; being human, despite our iPods and plasma TV screens and other means of abstracting ourselves from the basics of life, despite all those distractions, we still depend on clean water and sun-grown, land-grown food, and clean air, for our survival.  And for our happiness and for freedom from premature diseases such as asthma and cancer, we have an even higher requirement to keep our environment, or water, soil, and air, as healthy and non-toxic as possible.

Political manipulation and overriding of scientific information is therefore quite dangerous to all of us.  In the frequent struggle between short-term comfort and long-term balance and sustainability, it is often those whose focus is "bringing home the bacon" to industry or to local voters that will attempt to short-cut the message provided by the natural systems surrounding and supporting us and all animal and plant life.  In the end, it is the perceived self-interest of those corrupting political figures due to a desire for campaign contributions, comfortable jobs in the private sector, or re-election by sated votes, that puts pressure on our systems of government to not make the right decisions.

I am cheered by the appointment by President-Elect Obama of a Nobel-prize winning scientist, Steven Chu, who is specifically an expert on alternative energy, to head up the Department of Energy. His other recent appointments to environmental-related posts seem to be of a piece with that leading appointment, all consisting of true experts in their fields.  I can only believe that it is a harbinger of far greater respect for science permeating policy at all levels of the incoming Administration.

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Comment by: Steven Earl SALMONY (Dec-16-2008)   Web site
On climate change obstructionism at Poznan.......

This response is so predictable, so duplicitous, so pathetic, so immoral, so dunderheaded.

Too many current leaders appear to be saying that the environmental 'strategy' of delay and denial is as necessary and justifiable today as invading Iraq was in 2003.

Only a tale told by an idiot could match the one we are seeing played out on the world's stage in this first decade of Century XXI.

Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
established 2001
http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

  
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About author/contributor Member: PT (David Alexander) PT (David Alexander)
   Web site: http://www.insightandenergy.com

Member: PT (David Alexander) My lifelong pursuit, since age 18, has been to live more fully and find wisdom. This has involved studies with Zen masters, Tai Chi masters, and great psychotherapists while achieving my license as a gestalt therapist and psychoanalyst.

Along the way, I became aware of how the planet is under great stress due to the driven nature of human activity on this planet.

I believe that the advancement of human well-being will reduce societies addictive behaviors, and will thus also help preserve the environment and perhaps slow down the effects of global warming and other major threats to the health of human societies.

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