As most of you who have followed this blog for any length of time know, I am a lover of animals. I have often said I prefer goats, bears, lions, snakes and spiders to most humans, especially these days. So, you might imagine the low-throated growl that has been emitting from me ever since reading the following headline this morning …
U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act
First, he destroys the camaraderie of the nation, turns brother against brother, mother against child, and friend against friend. Then, he destroys the environment, not only of the nation, but of the entire planet, by reversing nearly every environmental protection regulation on the books and pulling the U.S. – against the will of the majority – out of the Paris Climate Accords. And now … now he is destroying the beautiful wildlife, many species of which were here on earth long before humans were, and all of which are more worthy of life than humans!The story:
The Endangered Species Act of 1973 is a key legislation for both domestic and international conservation. The act aims to provide a framework to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and their habitats. Under the current law, assessments about which species should be labeled as ‘endangered’ must be made solely based on science, without consideration for economic impacts. But, if the new ruling is allowed to go into effect, regulators would be forced to conduct economic assessments — for instance, estimating lost revenue from a prohibition on logging in a critical habitat — when deciding whether a species warrants protection.
The ruling appears to be in the interest of the fossil fuel and logging industries. David Bernhardt, Trump’s Secretary of the Interior, is a former oil and gas lobbyist who has long been a critic of the Endangered Species Act, saying that it places an “unnecessary regulatory burden” on companies, such as coal, oil and gas companies.
Environmental groups, Democratic state attorneys general and Democrats in Congress denounced the changes and vowed to challenge them in Congress and in the courts. But, as we have seen, both Congress and the courts have had very limited success in stopping the runaway train that is Donald Trump.Make no mistake … allowing thousands of species to become extinct will have a significant impact on this planet, as will allowing the fossil fuel industry to continue operating unregulated. The human species is on the brink of bringing about its own extinction, and frankly, I’m not so sure that’s an altogether bad thing! We are not trying to live in harmony with nature but are rather trying to dominate and destroy nature.
I have a terrific idea! Since Trump is removing the protections for both the environment and wildlife, let’s also remove the protections for Trump … protections, I might add, that we the taxpayers pay with our hard-earned money! No more Secret Service protection for Donnie!
And in other news … if you didn’t think that Donald Trump had brainwashed republicans before, this will surely convince you. According to a recent study by Pew Research, while most Americans continue to say it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power, the share expressing this opinion has declined since last year. Most of the change has been among Republicans – especially conservative Republicans. The study found that …
Currently, 66% of the public says “it would be too risky to give U.S. presidents more power to deal directly with many of the country’s problems.” About three-in-ten adults (29%) offer the contrasting opinion that “problems could be dealt with more effectively if U.S. presidents didn’t have to worry so much about Congress or the courts.” In March 2018, 76% of the public said it would be too risky to give presidents more power.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (51%) now say it would be too risky to give presidents more power, down from 70% last year.
The share of Republicans who say presidents could operate more effectively if they did not have to worry so much about Congress and the courts has increased 16 percentage points since then, from 27% to 43%.
There was a reason the framers of the Constitution put in place three independent branches of the federal government, a system of “checks and balances”, to provide oversight. Donald Trump has already largely trampled the Constitution in this area, for any time he cannot get his way through Congress or the courts, he simply writes an ‘executive order’, or circumvents the system altogether. And now, we find that increasingly, republicans are fine with that. At this point, I would say we are already experiencing an autocratic government, and teetering on the brink of a dictatorship. This is no longer just a nightmare scenario, my friends, but a clear and present danger. So yes, be afraid … be very afraid.