First Posted on February 7, 2014
Dictionary.com defines ‘stupid’ as “lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind . . . mental dullness; foolish; senseless . . . tediously dull . . . lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless . . . annoying or irritating; troublesome . . . in a state of stupor; stupefied . . .”
Note that they missed using that ONE WORD that would have easily either completed what they had to say or, better yet, could/would stand alone and in the process save a lot of ink, paper, and/or bandwidth, etc.
Stupid = Republican. Sounds brash, right? Unfair. Demeaning. Mean spirited. Etc. Yep, OK, so it is. But it’s also TRUE!! Following is the PROOF! Well, part of it at least, in the form of an article published in the Denver Post just the other day. Thanks to the Center for Biodiversity for the heads up.
House Republican call for changes to Endangered Species Act
By Matthew Brown, the Associated Press
BILLINGS, Mont. — The U.S. government has spent billions of dollars trying to save more than 1,500 animal and plant species listed as endangered or threatened. And now a group of House Republicans have seized on how that expense has translated into just 2 percent of protected species’ being taken off the list.
They called Tuesday for an overhaul to the 1973 Endangered Species Act, giving states more authority over imperiled species and limiting litigation from wildlife advocates.
Although experts say broad changes to one of the nation’s cornerstone environmental laws are unlikely, given the pervasive partisan divide in Washington, D.C., 13 GOP lawmakers representing states across the U.S. released a report proposing “targeted reforms” for the 40-year-old federal law, which protects imperiled plants and animals.
Proponents credit the law, last amended in the 1980s, with staving off extinction for hundreds of species — from the bald eagle and American alligator to the gray whale. But critics contend the law has been abused by environmental groups seeking to restrict development in the name of species protection.
Led by Rep. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming and Rep. Doc Hastings of Washington state, chairman the House Natural Resources Committee, Republicans want to amend the law to limit litigation from wildlife advocates that has resulted in protections for some species. And they want to give states more authority over imperiled species that fall within their borders.
Also among the recommendations are increased scientific transparency, more accurate economic impact studies and safeguards for private landowners.
“The biggest problem is that the Endangered Species Act is not recovering species,” Hastings said. “The way the act was written, there is more of an effort to list (species as endangered or threatened) than to delist.”
Noah Greenwald, a wildlife advocate with the Center for Biological Diversity, disputes the 2 percent figure as a “gross manipulation of facts” that ignores the hundreds of protected species now on the path to recovery.
The political hurdles for an overhaul of the law are considerable. The Endangered Species Act enjoys fervent support among many environmentalists, whose Democratic allies on Capitol Hill have thwarted past proposals for change.
Oregon Rep. Pete DeFazio, the ranking Democrat on the Natural Resources Committee, predicted that the changes being sought would go nowhere in the Senate.
“There is no appetite to overturn the (Endangered Species Act),” DeFazio said.
Throughout its history, the law has faced criticism from business interests, Republicans and others. They argue actions taken to shield at-risk species such as the northern spotted owl have severely hampered logging and other economic development.
Those complaints grew louder in recent months after federal wildlife officials agreed to consider protections for more than 250 additional species under settlement terms in lawsuits brought by environmental groups.
“Both sides have enough power to prevent something happening that they don’t like. But nobody has enough power to pass anything,” said Dale Goble, an expert on the act and a law professor at the University of Idaho.
Environmentalists credit the Endangered Species Act, signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1973, with saving species from extinction and say that hundreds more are on the path to recovery. Five species and how they’ve fared since being added to the list:
More than 6,000 roam the Lower 48 states after they were wiped out in the Northern Rockies, and only a small population was left in the Great Lakes by the mid-1990s. The U.S. spent more than $100 million on wolf recovery, and the Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed removing the predator from the endangered list across the United States, except for a small population of wolves in the Southwest. Yet despite the rebound, environmentalists point out a 7 percent drop in wolf numbers in the Northern Rockies after Congress lifted federal protections there in 2011.
Listed as threatened in the Lower 48 states in 1975 after being nearly wiped out over their historical range. But the bruins have been coming back, particularly in and around Yellowstone National Park, where they number more than 700. The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering removing federal protections for the Yellowstone grizzlies in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Another 1,000 grizzlies live outside of the Yellowstone area.
NORTHERN SPOTTED OWL
Listed as threatened in 1990 because of loss of old growth forest habitat to logging. Lawsuits led to establishment of millions of acres of reserves on national forests to protect the owl’s habitat. Despite the logging cutbacks, the owl has continued to decline by about 3 percent a year. Scientists have now identified the top threat to its survival as the invasion of the barred owl, a more aggressive and adaptable cousin.
The official symbol of the United States nearly became extinct through hunting and widespread use of the pesticide DDT. In 1963, there were just 417 of the birds documented in the nation. More than $574 million was spent on the eagle’s recovery through 2007, the year its numbers reached about 10,000 mating pairs in the Lower 48 states and it was taken off the list, although it is still illegal to kill a bald eagle.
CARIBBEAN MONK SEAL
Some species protected through the act go extinct anyway. The seal once swam the waters off Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but disappeared in 2008. The only subtropical seal native to the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico once numbered more than 250,000. The last confirmed sighting was in 1952.
Stupidity is tricky to define, to explain. It’s especially tricky for those who are NOT definably nuts, who are NOT registered Republicans (or unregistered Republicans, whatever).
Here’s the thing. IF the Endangered Species Act should ever be up for formal repeal, I would forever and for all time vote NO — unless, of course, those species defined as endangered were “lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind . . . mental dullness; foolish; senseless . . . tediously dull . . . lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless . . . annoying or irritating; troublesome . . . in a state of stupor; stupefied . . .” then what the hell, let ’em go. Like fer example this one:
Or this one?
[photo by frugalchariot]
Three ayes and one nay. I’d say the
ayes eyes have it.