Thursday, May 01, 2008

May Day Thoughts 2008

Climate Skeptic: Observe today how little of the discussion is about anything other than climate. There are still many environmental issues in the world that can be improved by the application of man's effort and technology -- unfortunately, climate is the least of these but the issue getting the most attention. Consider how the global warming panic has sucked the oxygen out of the environmental movement. Ten years from now, I predict that true environmentalists will be looking back on the hysteria over trace amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere as a huge setback for real environmental progress.

Maggie's Farm: As readers know, we are old-time Conservationists here. We believe in National Parks, State Parks, nature preserves, farmland protection, habitat protection, species protection, zoning, "open space", clean rivers and waters, unpolluted air, and we do not approve of the government subsidizing real estate developers and urban sprawl by building highways to nowhere.

The Audubon Society came into being to protect Egrets. … At the turn of the century, those breeding-season plumes were all the rage for decorating lady's hats. Thus our egrets - the American and the Snowy in particular - were hunted almost to extinction. That is called "unsustainable use."

The same applied to the market-gunning and netting of waterfowl - and the Passenger Pigeon. Of necessity, we now have hunting laws, hunting seasons, wildlife refuges, and protected species. Thus we are not Libertarian when it comes to land-use and unsustainable and irreversible exploitation of wildlife or wildlife habitat. The Conservation Movement of John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt had to become politicized, because laws were required in the presence of competing interests: witness, nowadays, the political conflicts in MA and in Europe around the efforts to enforce sustainable fish harvests. We simply try to be rational about it all.