Posts tagged: Endangered Species Act

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Endangered Species Act


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View Tom Turner's blog posts
09 October 2008, 6:00 AM
 

Another story the other day, this time from the San Jose Mercury News, showing the perils of importing predators to control pests.

This time it's the mosquitofish, a guppy-sized fellow, brought into California from the East Coast in the 1920s to control, you guessed it, mosquitoes. The fish are voracious—can eat 500 mosquito larvae in a day. This is very good, especially since West Nile virus hit the state in 1999. Mosquitofish have helped keep the virus, which is frequently carried by birds and then transmitted by mosquitoes that bite the birds, in relative check.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
27 August 2008, 4:44 PM
 

Congressional Republicans, led by former congressman Richard Pombo, tried in vain for years to gut the Endangered Species Act. They were thwarted largely because the law is so popular with the public.

Now the Bush crowd is trying to do by fiat what it couldn't accomplish in the legislative arena: rewrite the rules.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
12 August 2008, 10:40 AM
 

The legal tussle over the wolves in the Northern Rockies, which took a turn for the better a week or so back, has overshadowed another uplifting wolf story: confirmation of a breeding pack of wolves in northeast Oregon for the first time since the animals were shot, trapped, and poisoned out of the state more than 50 years ago. The Oregon wildlife agency has an interesting history here and the Oregonian's Michael Milstein reports on the recent discovery here.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
15 May 2008, 1:41 PM
 

As everyone knows by now, the administration has moved to give Endangered Species Act protection to the polar bear—sort of. The bear goes on the list, but there a big footnote that says that energy development can proceed unhindered. Interior Secretary Kempthorne proclaimed that the Endangered Species Act must not be used to combat global warming.

Various forces, including the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, pledged to contest the listing in court. To have any hope of success, they'll need some tame scientists on their side. Read on.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
17 April 2008, 4:12 PM
 

"Some courts are taking laws written more than 30 years ago to primarily address local and regional environmental effects, and applying them to global climate change. The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act were never meant to regulate global climate change." —George W. Bush, April 16, 2008

The Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act—enacted with bipartisan support and signed by a Republican president, Richard Nixon—were most definitely not meant "to primarily address local and regional environmental effects." The statement makes no sense.

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View Tom Turner's blog posts
03 March 2008, 5:45 PM
 

I have a simple rule of thumb to decide how to vote on the ever-more-complicated, ever-more numerous propositions that infest the ballot here in California come election time. It is this: Anything that is supported by the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association is something that I will enthusiastically vote against. The late Mr. Jarvis and a co-conspirator named Paul Gann managed to get a property tax measure passed in 1978 that ruined the public schools in our fair state and caused much other mischief that we still suffer from. The association remains active and is reliably wrong on everything.

Well, it looks as if we may have just such a lodestone on matters environmental. It's a new group known as Responsible Resources. The website gives immediate clues-a rotating slide show with heroic photographs of offshore oil rigs, a dam, the Alaska pipeline, giant cooling towers, and an onshore oil rig, with solar panels and windmills thrown in for good measure. An ad launching the group argues against raising taxes on the energy industry.

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View Trip Van Noppen's blog posts
25 February 2008, 2:10 PM
 

With late winter, sunlight returns to the North Pole, revealing an ice-bound ocean that looks deceptively like it always has—a frozen, pristine wilderness. Deceptive, because profound and rapid change is underway from the forces of climate change and our relentless quest for energy.

Year-round ice that once gouged trenches 1,300 feet below the ocean surface is now so thin in the Arctic seas that summers may be ice-free in 30 years, if not sooner, exposing an entire wild ocean to large-scale economic exploitation and ecological devastation.

View Tom Turner's blog posts
12 February 2008, 5:14 PM
 

If the polar bears aren’t drowning it's flooding somewhere and drying to dust somewhere else. Or, as a folk group from my youth sang, "They're rioting in Africa. . .and Texas needs rain." Plus ça change.

With all the horrible news, a bright spot is welcome, and this week's comes from the World Wildlife Fund via MSNBC. It has to do with African rhinos, which have staged an admirable comeback over the past decade or so as poaching has been cracked down on, habitat restored, and local people involved in the tourism trade.

White rhinos, the larger of the two subspecies, have seen their numbers rise from 8,500 to 14,500 in the past ten years. Black rhinos, the smaller cousin, have gone from 2,600 to about 4,000 in the same period, which leaves them still seriously endangered but headed in a better direction than they were ten years ago. One key has been stopping the killing of the huge beasts for their horns, much prized in some versions of Asian medicine. WWF reports that rhinos have been reintroduced recently to areas in Zambia and Uganda, from which they had been extirpated.

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