Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Check yourself

Now that were literally mere weeks away from knowing definitively who will be vying for the White House in November, it only seems logical that there's a bit of a shake-up going on. And no, we're not talking about the chance that Hillary is going to put herself back up for nomination. We kind of expected that, with the typical Clinton penchant for bowing out less-than-gracefully.

No, the shake-up that we're talking about is happening with the GDub Administration. After all, when you've held down one of the lowest approval ratings for any world leader in recent history, there's just very little that you can possibly do. Some presidents would want to improve how they look in history's view. GDub, on the other hand? He's decided that it's time to solidify himself as one of the worst "deciders" in history.

After failed policy after failed policy (and some successful policies that were presented poorly, at the wrong time, or with hand puppets), it only seems logical that the President, who's been trying to revamp protections for endangered animals, should find a way to get his resolutions without that pesky Congress and their system of "checks and balances". The result?

If you're an agency that might impact the environment and endangered species, just go and make that risk assessment for yourself. Don't worry about getting others to check your numbers for you.

Admittedly, this plan hasn't been enacted yet, but the simple audacity of trying to put this together is pretty astounding. There's a reason why there have been agencies set up to verify these things... it seems that there's fairly damning proof that losing more species on the planet is harmful to the coexistence of those left behind.

We can also picture just how this concept might work in practice. Imagine a logging company or a drill team (or a road construction unit) headed towards an area that might hold endangered species. Person one asks person two if he thinks that the impact is minimal enough. Person two responds that the impact to his paycheck if they don't do it is too drastic to miss. And, ta-da, there's a new oil rig/overpass/clear field where a forest used to be.

Of course, maybe this is simply GDub's plan for proving survival of the fittest. Because no "fit" animal would want to live where his cronies want to install a power plant.

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