Bush guts Endangered Species Act

Well, surprise, surprise. In his last few months of office (155 days left!!), Bush takes the opportunity to screw things over once again:

“The administration of US President George W. Bush has proposed revisions to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) so that the law can not be used to regulate the emission of greenhouse gases.

The new regulations would reduce reviews by government scientists that have been mandatory whenever federal agencies propose projects such as dams or highways that could threaten endangered species.”

The Administration’s excuse is that there is no proven link between warming and species loss.  Well, they’re wrong. There is plenty of evidence that warming will harm whole ecosystems, including individual species.

Exhibit A: A peer-reviewed paper from the National Academy:

“The biological impact of rising temperatures also depends on the physiological sensitivity of organisms to temperature change. We integrate empirical fitness curves describing the thermal tolerance of terrestrial insects from around the world with the projected geographic distribution of climate change for the next century to estimate the direct impact of warming on insect fitness across latitude. The results show that warming in the tropics, although relatively small in magnitude, is likely to have the most deleterious consequences because tropical insects are relatively sensitive to temperature change and are currently living very close to their optimal temperature.” [emphais mine]

Here’s another, from Geophysical Research Letters:

If current trends continue, annual average SSTs in northern parts could be ∼0.5°C warmer and those of more southern parts ∼2.0°C warmer within the next 100 years. These rapid changes in oceanic climate are already causing responses in Australia’s tropical marine ecosystems and these responses, if present rates of warming continue, can only intensify.

That’s what I came up with in a 5 second search with Google Scholar. I didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it.  I don’t, for example, have a whole agency of scientists that can produce similar results to smack Bush over the head with.  (Preferably, repeated smacking. But I could be projecting here.)

If what he’s waiting for is a direct link from your car’s tailpipe to a melting ice cap, he won’t get that kind of evidence. It’s not the kind of evidence science produces.

This might be a good time to revisit a post about the Yes Men, that discusses the way in which the Media manufactures dissent about scientific evidence.

Sigh.

4 thoughts on “Bush guts Endangered Species Act

  1. My best friend is finishing up her dissertation right now; her work shows that climate change is causing a native species of cold-tolerant mouse to be steadily displaced by one that prefers warmer climes. Hmm.

  2. Anyone who is unclear why defending the right of the public to participate in government decisions about the environment is important, or the specifics of what a good process looks like in different countries, is invited to check out a new publication from the World Resources Institute called “Voice and Choice: Opening the Door to Environmental Democracy.” It’s available for free download here:

    http://www.accessinitiative.org/resource/voice-and-choice-opening-door-environmental-democracy

  3. Well his track record and decision-making regarding the environment wasn’t exactly stellar, I mean his first decision was to elect Whitman as head of the EPA (when better choices were out there). But, it’s delays like these that will cause more species to go to extinct faster.

    Speaking of conservation, did you hear about a new species, and it’s already endangered (as it’s cousin)? It’s survived Millions of years, can it survive the next 10? Please check out the article below, and comment on what your thoughts are. Thanks.

    http://drcorner.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/giant-sized-fish-declared-a-new-species/

    Also check out my environmental section (and comment on what interests/thought-provokes you), where I hope to help people better understand easier ways to help us improve our environment, and present a cleaner world for our future to live in. Thanks.

    http://drcorner.wordpress.com/category/health-environment/

Comments are closed.