Craig's List

An interview with Bush's point person on species and parks

| April 22, 2004


The veteran of the Air Force as well as the California Department of Fish and Game sparked a recent uproar among environmentalists when he questioned whether 'the loss of species in and of itself is inherently bad.' In his interview with Griscom, Manson added, 'Darwinian science suggests that some species are lost because they are not unable to adapt to changing circumstances. And those changing circumstances may be natural circumstances, they may not be artificial or human-caused.' He also questioned statistics raised by Griscom, indicating that the rate of extinction has escalated tremendously in the last several decades, nearly borrowing one of Bush's favorite easy-out terms: 'We just don't have enough information yet to act on that.'

Manson refutes the necessarily adversarial relationship between the Endangered Species Act and corporations that have been known to harm the environment to pad their revenues. 'We are now in an era of cooperation under the ESA and other environmental laws, where the first thing out of the mouth of [Fish and Wildlife Service] is not, 'No!' It's, 'Let's see how we can make this work.' ... In terms of [the ESA] meeting corporations' bottom line, there are frequently ways in which economic development and environmental protection can coexist.'

Craig Manson hopes the environmentalists and polluters will hold hands and become friends. Meanwhile, America's natural ecosystems are screaming out for help.
-- Jacob Wheeler

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