Friday, March 18, 2005

A word on the environment

In general I support the goals of the conservation movement. It is important to protect our water and air quality. Most Conservatives recognize this principle but we vary on degrees. The sole exception are the extreeme Libertarians who want to do away with regulatory agencies. The libertarians have some points but the notion of businesses regulating themselves is absurd. The goal should be simplification of codes and restrictions. The laws should be understandable by lay people and strike a balance between business and nature.The laws should not hamper business needlessly but be enforced strictly.
Jared Diamond's book Collapse is misread by those on the left and the right. He endorces sustainable, responsible use of the resources. Clear cutting on wide tracts are not ecologically sound. However the modern methods of planting and replacing the trees is a sound. Moreover roads insome cases serve as firebreaks and fire was part of natures plan. The key is to harvest a sustainable ammount.
There are responsible ways to drill for oil and mine metals. The technology has improved and there is a bleak dilemma caused by the Western Ecological movement. The hostility to natural resource production in the West may have shifted the ecological burden on the third world. Is the ecological movement accidentally creating an unintended consequence ? The stories about pollution in the third world are in his book and on the web. Is the answer world wide minimal laws ? Is the answer we should promote safe practices here and use taffifs to advocate healthy environmental practices.
There is another part of this debate that is more complex. There is a serious problem with invasive and alien species. House Sparrows , Ring Necked Pheasants are some of the more well known introduced species. Canada Geese have become sedentary local budens in Parks. Their fecal droppings ruin fields and lakes. Other scecies are harmed by their over abundance.
I was at a local lake and shocked to see a redeared slider (turtle) in NYC. The historic range of that species is further south. People releasing unwanted pets into
the environment create problems. I have not seen a painted turtle in years and I have looked. I also saw huge goldfish that are clearly not native to NYC.
The other question is that species have come and gone due to competition for eons. I do not know if Red Eared Sliders would have eventually displaced smaller and related painted turtles anyway.
The news isn't all bad locally interms of wildlife. The other day I saw a bunch of Wild Turkeys on Staten Island. As a kid I dreamed of seeing them but now I was able to walk up close. I saw a few beaver dams in Upstate NY and they were not common years earlier. Maybe I will get lucky and see an otter in my travels.
The environmental movement hurts itself with the gloom and doom talk at time. There is work that needs to be done. However, as I have said on other topics people do not listen to hysterical voices.

The Beak

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