The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. …
At wind farms throughout the US, iconic and protected birds regularly fly into spinning turbines. The crippled bodies of eagles are often found at the base of the machines after being cut up by the quickly spinning blades.These birds of prey were once included on the list of threatened and endangered species – and although they are no longer listed, their population is still significantly less than it was in the early 20thcentury. Under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act of 1940, disturbing, killing or taking the birds or their eggs is a federal offense punishable by a maximum of two years imprisonment and a $250,000 for an individual felony conviction, and $500,000 for a felony conviction of an organization. The Obama administration has prosecuted oil companies when birds died in their waste pits and power companies when they were electrocuted, but has never once fined or prosecuted a wind farm.In Converse County, Wyo., a wind farm owned by PacifiCorp kills about one golden eagle each month, the Associated Press reports. Wind farms at Altamont Pass, Calif., kill more than 60 per year. Across the country, more than 573,000 birds are killed on wind farms each year, 83,000 of which are hunting birds, the Wildlife Society Bulletin reports.“There is nothing in the evolution of eagles that would come near to describing a wind turbine. There has never been an opportunity to adapt to that sort of threat,” Grainger Hunt, an eagle expert, told AP.The number of deaths could be even higher than estimated, since many companies do not disclose the number of birds that become mangled at the blades of their turbines. It is also likely that companies underreport this number.Some wildlife enthusiasts have condemned Obama for his hypocrisy in prosecuting oil companies for contributing to bird deaths, while ignoring the faults of the ‘green energy’ industry. The BP oil company paid $100 million in fines for harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill, while PacifiCorp paid $10.5 million for electrocuting 232 eagles in 2009.PacifiCorp also operates several wind farms, which have killed at least 20 eagles but for which it faced no fines or prosecution.“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” Tom Dougherty, an environmentalist who previously worked for the National Wildlife Federation, told AP. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”If the US government were to enforce the law regarding the killing of eagles at wind farms, then green energy companies may be more inclined to build farms in areas where there are fewer birds of prey. But enforcing this law would likely slow down the wind farm industry, which would contradict the administration’s goal of boosting renewable energy industries, including wind and solar.“Clearly, there [is] a bias to wind energy in their favor because they are a renewable source of energy, and justifiably so,” Rob Manes of the Nature Conservancy told AP. “We need renewable energy in this country.”It may be near impossible for both eagles and wind turbines to co-exist in the long run – but with the administration warning about the effects of climate change and urging greater investments in wind farms, the US national bird could once again end up on the threatened species list. …
The cheetah, the world’s fastest land animal, survived mass extinction during the last ice age 10,000 years ago. But it has taken just the last few decades for man to place the hunter on the endangered species list, with experts warning it could disappear from the wild by 2030. Unlike rhinos…
A baby Sumatran elephant peeps out timidly from between the legs of its mother at an Indonesian zoo, where her birth has given a boost to the critically endangered animal. Kartini, named after the country’s most celebrated feminist, Raden Ajeng Kartini, was born on Friday under a captive…
http://www.youtube.com/v/5D9EFvVuizQ?version=3&f=videos&app=youtube_gdata Read the article: CrossTalk: Whistleblowers Endangered Species?
In the days of 4G wireless networks and Twitter, when virtually every moment of a person’s life can be tracked online and many people offer up that information freely, it’s a rare thing to come across a public figure who not only doesn’t buy into the idea of constant communication but takes themselves in the opposite direction — completely out of the spotlight. The term “recluse” seems like a dirty word, a slur — “private” or “introverted” seem much fairer ways to describe someone than a word that suggests agoraphobia — but that’s how many would describe artists ranging from Emily Dickinson to Marcel Proust, Harper Lee to J.D. Salinger.Some say that the “recluse” is an endangered species, but to my knowledge, there’s still one artist who is keeping the idea of the private public figure alive: Bill Watterson, writer and illustrator of the beloved comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes.”Continue Reading… …
Environmental activists and politicians would like you to think
that we must love their regulations — or hate trees and
I love trees and animals.
But you can love nature and still hate the tyranny that
environmental regulations bring.
The Environmental Protection Agency just announced it will boost
gas prices (“only” a penny, although industry says 6 to 9 cents) to
make another minuscule improvement to air quality.
In New York City, my mayor wants to ban Styrofoam cups, saying,
“I think it’s something we can do without.”
Congress already dictates the design of our cars, toilets and
environmental rules were a good thing. I love the free market, but
it doesn’t offer a practical remedy to pollution. I could sue
polluters for violating my property rights, but under our legal
system, that’s not even close to practical.
So in the ’70s, government passed rules that demanded we stop
polluting the air and water. Industry put scrubbers in smokestacks.
Towns installed sewage treatment. Now the air is quite clean, and I
can swim in the rivers around Manhattan.
But government didn’t stop there. Government never stops. Now
that the air is cleaner, government spends even more than it spent
to clean the air to subsidize feeble methods of energy production,
like windmills and solar panels. Activists want even more spending.
A few years back, the Center for American Progress announced they
were upset that “Germany, Spain and China Are Seizing the Energy
Opportunity … the United States Risks Getting Left Behind.”
In this case, we’re better off “left behind.” After spending
billions, those European governments made no breakthroughs, and now
they’re cutting back.
The Endangered Species Act was another noble idea. We all want
to save polar bears. But now the bureaucrats make it almost
impossible for some people to improve their own property.
Louisiana landowner Edward Poitevent wants to build homes and
offices north of Lake Pontchartrain. He could provide safe
high-ground housing to people eager to move away from areas that
were flooded during Hurricane Katrina. But he is not allowed to
build because the government decided 1,500 acres of his land should
become a preservation area for a threatened species called the
dusky gopher frog. None of these frogs currently live on his
property. Poitevent told me, “The Fish and Wildlife Service has
certified that the frog has not been seen in the state of Louisiana
Fish and Wildlife Service officials said they were “not
available” to talk with me about this. Instead, they posted a video
on YouTube that says they work “with” landowners: “The Service has
many voluntary partnership-based programs that can provide
technical and financial assistance to manage species.”
That sounds nice, but the government’s handbook on
how ;to work with them is an onerous 315 pages
The environmentalists so torment those who resist their schemes
that some landowners tell each other, “If you find an endangered
species, shoot, shovel and shut up!” That’s mostly a joke. But it
does happen, and it’s one more way government regulations
Throughout the world, most reductions in pollution have been
achieved because of capitalism, not government control.
Fracking for natural gas reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Even much-hated coal and oil provide benefits. Science writer
Matt Ridley says, “Burning of fossil fuels is helping the
rainforest in the Amazon to grow.”
Ridley also points out modern industrial farming allows people
to grow more food on less land, and so people cut down fewer trees.
“New England used to be 70 percent farmland — it’s now 70 percent
You can even see the difference between areas that get greener
and ones that don’t from space: The Dominican Republic is
noticeably greener than its immediate neighbor, Haiti, mainly
because the Dominican Republic uses fossil fuel instead of burning
wood from its forests for fuel, as Haiti does.
Industry and technology, not regulations, are humanity’s
greatest contribution to the environment. Leave people their
freedom, and they come up with new, smarter, more efficient and
thus cleaner ways of doing things. Stifling that process with
regulation isn’t “progressive.” …