Monday, February 6, 2012

Two Cheers for the Endangered Species Act

by Olivia LaRosa, February 5, 2012

I wish to make certain that it is clear to you that I was completely in love with the Endangered Species Act since its passage when I was a young mother. I thought I knew what the Endangered Species Act meant. I saw it as a means to protect our critical biosystems.  I see a biosystem as a natural long-term self-perpetuating synergy among the lifeforms who share an area.

The ESA meant of course, that if a species' population begins to decline to dangerous levels, scientists were alerted that something was not well in that biosystem. Thus alerted, they could investigate the biome for harmful agents that might hurt humans, other animals, plants and microbes in the system.

It turns out that I was in error.

The Endangered Species Act has been turned into a political football. Right-wingers, who seem to think that everything belongs to them unless proven otherwise, mock the process by pretending that it is about the critter  named in ESA documents rather than that critter's entire habitat. 

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