Monday, July 04, 2005

Gutting the ESA

According to today's NYT, the latest effort to trash environmental regulation will be a proposal to limit the Endangered Species Act. The limits it will apparently put on listing subpecies, stocks, or ESUs (evolutionarily significant units - a segment of the population, which, if lost, would lead to a significant decline in the genetic diversity of the remaining population) is bad enough. But this proposal also would limit what could be done to preserve habitat. As habitat loss is a leading cause of species decline in the first place, this is an extraordinarily bad thing.

Only thirty years ago, we were passing some of the most progressive environmental legislation in the world. Now, in less than a generation, we are going back to the age of the Robber Barons. When will people wake up? Will it take a Seveso or Mimimata? I would have hoped not.


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