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Justin Darr
Oct. 23, 2005

Did you know that if all the endangered species in the world were made safe, hurricanes would no longer hit the Gulf Coast? This is just one example of the tortured logic liberal environmentalists would like you to believe in regard to Humanity’s affect on the environment.

You have to remember that liberals do not think like you and me. We live in a world we believe to be basically good, and where doing what is right an end unto itself. If we stick to our values, look out for ourselves, and try to help those around us along the way, the world will be a better place. Why? Because we believe in God and that we will be held accountable for whatever havoc we might cause. We should not destroy the environment because it is a gift from God, and marring it a grievous sin.

However, liberals, in the absence of what we call faith and values, are forced to concoct bizarre justifications for their actions to create the same sense of urgency to do the right thing and lend intellectual consistency to their otherwise contradictory stands on the issues. This desire to create justifications often leads to the fudging and actual manufacture of facts. Unfortunately, it is often not the environmentalists, but regular people left paying the price for the liberals’ blind pursuit of their agenda at the expense of the truth.

In few areas is this tendency to stretch facts and create crises where there are none as apparent than with liberal environmentalists.

If you believe what the liberals say, human beings are exterminating all life on Earth. If it is not global warming, then it is roads blocking game trails, windmills killing birds along migration routes, or tourists in our national parks aggressively looking at the fauna. They try to back these claims up with statistics showing thousands upon thousands of species of life are at risk of extinction.

On the surface, the facts look convincing. There are, indeed, many species that have gone extinct due to human interaction over the past 500 years, and many more who might soon become so. However, the numbers are not quite as bad you might believe.

The reason is something called “taxonomic inflation,” a concept first explained by James Mallet, Nick Isaac, and Georgina Mace of the Zoological Society of London and University College London, in late 2004.

Taxonomy is the science of classifying of things into hierarchical structures. In relation to living things, this is best know as “Linnaean Taxonomy,” or in other words, the “kingdoms,” “classes,” “orders,” and down to the “genus” and “species” that designate the scientific names for all species (i.e. people = homo sapiens.)

For centuries, scientists used a relatively simple system to determine what was or was not a separate species. The “broad brush scientific concept,” or “BSC,” basically states that a species is a population that breeds together, producing viable offspring, and does not breed outside of their group. However, in recent decades, as the environmentalist movement has developed, this has changed. Now, many scientists have abandoned the “BSC” in favor of the “phylogenetic species concept,” or “PSC.” To oversimplify, using the “PSC” can enable a scientist to name just about any population of animals a unique species, even if there is no significant visible behavioral or genetic variation between populations, and viable breeding readily occurs when the separate populations come into contact. Or, as Lee M. Silver stated in his book, “Mouse Genetics, Concepts and Applications,” “there is no clear solution to the one species versus multiple species debate and it comes down to a matter of taste.”

This “matter of taste” has led to the doubling of the known number of primate species in the world since 1985, despite the fact that there have only been 30 actual discoveries of new animals. And, not surprisingly, almost all of these have been immediately listed as “endangered.”

In 1999, the Fraser Institute found that of the 339 endangered species in Canada only 91 where actually endangered, with many species being listed two or three times based on their geographic locations. For example, the grizzly bear was listed as two separate species, one for those that live in the mountains, another for those that live in the prairies. What is the difference between the two? Nothing. They are the same species simply living in separate habitats. By this reasoning, Americans and Europeans would be separate species of human beings. The Institute found in many cases, endangered species where not endangered at all, but just smaller populations of otherwise nonendangered species.

The implications of taxonomic inflation can be devastating for the general public. In 2001, 1400 farmers in Klamath Falls, Oregon, lost their farms and life savings to drought because U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken ruled that two species of suckerfish had first rights to all the fresh water in the area. In 1991, Margaret Rector was told she would not be able to use 15 acres of land she bought for development in Austin, Texas, because, even though there were no endangered species present on the land, there might be some in the future (her property value dropped from $831,000 to $30,000 in less than a year.) And, thousands of Americans have been forced assume responsibility for protecting alleged endangered species on their property at their own expense without compensation.

All the money wasted, all the lives disrupted, all for 10 species to be removed from the endangered species list over the past 30 years. In the end, we must ask ourselves, are the liberal environmentalists trying to actually trying to get species off the “endangered list,” or add a new one: The Feral Free American?

© Justin Darr

Justin Darr is a freelance writer living in the Philadelphia area with his wife and twin children. He can be read widely on the Internet and in publications across North America and in Europe.

Justin Darr is a staff writer for The New Media Alliance, and proud member of the MoveOff Network.

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