Skip to comments.Scientist's Computer Model Forecasts Extinction
Posted on 04/10/2002 4:59:39 PM PDT by WhiteyAppleseed
Full Title:Scientists Computer Projections Fail to Reveal Tree Threatened by Fatal Disease, Extinction Likely (Opinion is Divided, though a Review is Unlikely)
Subtitled: Computer Model Revealing lack of alligators at North Pole is cause for Concern (Environmentalists Shout Save Allie!)
There are two bills in Congress,H.R. 2829 and H.R. 3705, to amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973. If approved, the law would require empirical, field-tested data and peer-reviewed data for ESA action. Too much analytical modeling-theory is the trend, a method that has been shown to fail expensively with attempts to manufacture habitat for the Piping Plover in Nebraska.
On February 16, 2002, in Grand Island Nebraska, a farmer named Tom Schwarz testified during a House Resources Committee Field Hearing. Mr. Schwarz, representing the Nebraska Water Users, also known as NWU, told the committee, Our organization traces its roots to a federal court order issued 12 years ago this week. Early in the relicensing process for FERC Projects 1417 and 1835the hydroelectric projects of Central Nebraska Public Power and Irrigation District and Nebraska Public Power District--environmental organizations, with the backing of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, attempted to require the districts to release water stored for irrigation, supposedly to benefit endangered species. Before the order was stayed 80,000 acre feet of water was dumped and to this day no benefits to the species were ever shown.
It is this kind of precautionary principle decisions, called for by the little barking environmental dogs and all, based on modeling theory, that the two bills before Congress are trying to address. This was the same kind of precautionary principle choices that left the Klamath Basin farmers high and dry, their grievances ignored.
The Nebraska farmer wasnt done there, however. While relating another story of mitigation that calls foradding sediment to the riverNot only was Nebraska being asked to provide 130,000 acre feet of water and 10,000 acres of habitat, now the ridiculous idea of adding thousands and thousands of tons of sand to the river each year had been introduced.
This hair-brained idea came about from the good scientists using modeling theory, bad science pushed to the forefront because the ESA as written and enforced permits it. Mr. Schwarz is one out of many Americans who see the ESA as a tool of control to gain power through control of water and land. The evidence is everywhere. Every spring 500,000 Sandhill cranes use the river and their numbers have increased since the 1960s. Yet of the 150 whooping cranes that migrate a few weeks later, and never more than a handful of them land on the Platte, we dont seem to have enough habitat. How can that be when the Service uses Sandhill habitat as a surrogate for the whoopers?
As Mr. Shwarz said and I think we all agree: The system we have now related to administering the ESA is broken.
I urge everyone to contact your representative in Congress. Ask him or her to support HR 2829 and HR 3705. Ask them to sign on as a co-sponsor of these bills.
The ESA is a reckless buzzsaw used to destroy the Tree of Libertys protective shade. The Act has hurt citizens. In 2001, the Act killed four fire fighters. Farmers in Oregon lost their livelihoods because of bad science and the ESA.
The Northern Spotted Owl snatched the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness from thousands of hard-working countrymen. Recently, it was discovered that the Northern Spotted Owl breeds with the California Spotted Owl. Will that science be used to delist the bird and return Americans to work?
Federal and state scientists committed fraud in a lynx survey; they claimed they were testing the system. Mr. Hansen, of Utah, said: If this is true, it shows a fundamental mistrust that these scientists have for the very science they are using. Former Rep. Kelly used the same lame excuse when he was caught in Abscam. Their actions could have affected management decisions in fifteen states and fifty-seven national forests, my home state of Michigan among them.
The Endangered Species Act will be thirty next year. Enacted in 1973, the House passed the bill 390 to 12 and the Senate passed a similar measure on a 92 to 0 vote. President Nixon signed the new bill into public law. Congress has wrestled over reauthorizing the ESA for years. You have to wonder if it would ever see the light of day, if we knew then, 30 years ago, what we know today. The Act is holy writ to the environmental evangelists who never seem to unable to find a Chicken Little scientific model that is used to harm our countrymen.
On March 20, 2002, the House Committee on Resources heard testimony from a variety of people. Interestingly, among them was Peter Illyn, Executive Director for a ministry called Restoring Eden. His testimony speaks volumes about the future of the enforcement of the ESA. His testimony discussed the biblical and moral argument for good stewardship as it relates to the ESA. His testimony is evidence of what many have been saying for years, that environmentalists have made their case a religious cause, and the many examples where irresponsible science was used to forfeit private property shows an alarming trend that we can ill afford to ignore.
I believe it was Hayek who wrote: It is possible that a fanatical religious group will impose upon the rest restrictions which its members will be pleased to observe but which will be obstacles for others in the pursuit of important aims. In the case of the Endangered Species Act, Americans face an Inquisition the likes of which has never been seen.
One of the original patriots, Sam Adams, said: "If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." American lives have been harmed by this destructive Act and too often (as with the Klamath farmers) it has been a case of too little, too late, and their voice, raised in collective protest and redoubled by other concerned citizens, was ignored. I could easily pose a canny analogy to our nations early days, in which legitimate grievances were ignored and a crisis followed. Now is the time for us to stand among our fellow countrymen whose lives have been harmed by the ESA, a threat to the beauty of the Tree of Liberty, an endangered species.
I think managing habitat for endangered species is a perfectly reasonable land use that the owner should be free to market as a service. Endangered species should be treated economically as the assets that they are with a risk of loss priced actuarially. Census data should be private property as certified by an insured third party. For more information on this proposal, please consider my book: Natural Process: That Environmental Laws May Serve the Laws of Nature.
And nobody will know unless we tell them; the "news" media have essentially spiked the story.
About this there can be no doubt; our universities have little or no intellectual honesty, and ZERO credibility.
I don't see the proposed legislation as "throwing a bone to the universities," although their input would be welcomed, I'm sure, if I read the language of the bills correctly.
Some suggestions had to do with land-owner co-operation.
William Rex Amack, Director Nebraska Game and Parks Commission mentioned a program of the USFWS, quote, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service works with private landowners in the conservation and recovery of species by providing technical assistance and through Asafe harbor@ agreements. A safe harbor agreement assures landowners that improving habitat for species will not restrict land-use options on their land in the future. The key to recovery is the cooperation of many partners working together to develop innovative conservation and management actions that benefit the species, while accommodating socioeconomic goals."
There was a wealth of information and viewpoints presented at the March 20th meeting of the House Resource Committee, that could be incorporated into the bills.
I live in the heart of the devastation caused by the listing of the Northern Spotted Owl (and the Marbled Murralett). Can you steer me to the research on the marriage of the Owls?
Farmers, when I was a kid, used to leave a row or two on the end or side of their fields for the local habit. Rabbits, deer, pheasants, foxes, etc. were common on every farm and ranch because of the attitude of the country living folks. They enjoyed watching the wildlife on their property.
Along comes the EPA and ESA, the farmers starting cutting and burning the ditches, cutting every bit of possible growth out of their fields. WHY ? Because they are terrified that the EPA or ESA is going to come along and say, "You have this endangered <>snake<>bug<>animal<>turtle<> living on your property and we are ordering that you do not use fertilizer or grow crop in this 160 acre field!
Common sense went out the window when the UN started these agencies!
Considering that scientific computer modeling is used to implement the Endangered Species Act, computer modeling that is an educated guess at best, I'm surprised that the outcry is not louder!
Sound Science Bills To Reform ESA In Congress Following Court Findings of "Junk Science"
by George Dupray
Occasionally, there comes a piece of legislation that looks and sounds just like it came directly from Grange policy. Over and over, we have said that Grangers are the soul and body of real conservation and protectors of the space in which we live, raise families, earn our living and feed the world. We have fought the good fight for rural America and continue to do so today. So, here comes something we can all stand behind and hopefully win a serious battle over those who would rather de-populate rural America.
Congressman Greg Waldon of Oregon has introduced House of Representatives (H. R.) Bill 2829 that speaks to the use of sound science over the current unproven, emotional, and capricious rule making procedure. Current practice in setting the rules destroys confidence and trust in our Constitutional protections. The title of the bill is the Sound Science for Endangered Species Act Planning Act of 2001. This is a five point plan of action that will, in the end, restore some of the trust in the effort to save some species.
. A companion bill has been introduced inthe Senate, S-1912. Authored by Smith of Oregon, has been given the title, Sound Science for Endangered Species Decisionmaking Act of 2002.
Language in the companion bill varies slightly from the House version, but the essential provisions calling for peer reviewed, sound science as well as data collected from landowners and information submitted by the public in response to public notification of the proposed listing.
The following chart is a side-by-side comparison of what the bill calls for as opposed to current practice. You are encouraged to write to your Congressman in support of this issue. And when you do, please tell them you are a Granger and proud of the fact that the Grange has worked so hard in getting this issue addressed.
Every drain, a wetland. Every fencerow, a critical habitat.
The greater wrong would be to do nothing to amend the ESA.
I see. The tyranny of the urgent justifies the means. Really? After nearly thirty years?
Those species, even those that are migratory, are integral to processes that are all that constitutes private property. My web-site contains a philosophical proof of that. It may be just what the SCOTUS is looking for. Any civic claim to represent the interests of endangered species is no more than an expressed claim on the part of a civic agent to control the use of private property in the interest of the politically dominant. In fact, to socialize a species is to place its welfare at the hands of an agent that derives its income only as long as the species is in trouble. That is in contradiction of the terms of the treaties that are the authority for the ESA. Ill bet you cant wait for that constitutional challenge.
The testimony I read from the February 16 Resource Committee meeting had many helpful insights form a variety of people. There were good points brought to light that could be incorporated into HR 2829 and HR 3705.
Ah the ol consensus pitch from those invited to comment. Very smooth. We see that one all over, except they call themselves democrats, socialists, and globalists... Your assumption is that the claim of agency for rare and endangered species are the legitimately the exclusive province of government, a civic monopoly. So do all the supplicants you invite. My intent is to blow that claim out of the water entirely. Such control is hardly constitutional as managing species habitat is a perfectly reasonable business, a premise co-linear within both the Convention on Nature Protection or CITES. After presenting the thesis, later chapters in the book demonstrate how sophisticated are its capabilities. Would you like to know how to blow those treaties out of the water instead of reforming the ESA into concrete? Would you like to know how property owners can get standing in those sweetheart suits between agencies and NGOs? I dont suppose you know that the Convention on Nature Protection presumes to control all land and all species in the United States without any limits to the commitment? If you dont, take a gander at the preamble and then Article V. I have the Congressional Record on that one. Cordell Hull lied to the Senate about the scope of that part of the Convention. No recorded vote either.
I don't see the proposed legislation as "throwing a bone to the universities," although their input would be welcomed, I'm sure, if I read the language of the bills correctly.
Then you are either blind, ignorant, or dishonest; take your pick. The sole power to confer peerage is strictly controlled by a university oligopoly nearly totally dependent upon Federal funding or tax-exempt foundations that are using the power to control grant funding of scientific research to control the value of natural resources, commodities, real estate, imported goods, or even as tools of foreign policy to prop up foreign loans. That is a systemic conflict of interest with those of the species and American property owners. Heck, these people even manipulate currencies as part of this game.
William Rex Amack, Director Nebraska Game and Parks Commission mentioned a program of the USFWS, quote, The United States Fish and Wildlife Service works with private landowners in the conservation and recovery of species by providing technical assistance and through safe harbor agreements. A safe harbor agreement assures landowners that improving habitat for species will not restrict land-use options on their land in the future. The key to recovery is the cooperation of many partners working together to develop innovative conservation and management actions that benefit the species, while accommodating socioeconomic goals."
The assumption is, of course, that the USFWS is a competent agent, that they legitimately can determine what is acceptable accommodation, or that they dont serve the select interests of both themselves and large campaign donors to control resource market as a system of political favors. The very idea that centralized planning systems are capable of doing this job from Washington is bizarre, much less that it is optimal. Its too corrupt to do it even if its motives were pure. I assure you they are not because USFWS operates within a motivational architecture that is structurally adverse to the interests of species or private property owners. Under my free-market management method those interests are co-aligned and all the same principles that make our free market industries flourish then come to fore.
There was a wealth of information and viewpoints presented at the March 20th meeting of the House Resource Committee, that could be incorporated into the bills.
The usual suspects I am certain. I didnt get a plane ticket. What do you bet if I showed up they would have let me testify?
Some suggestions had to do with land-owner co-operation.
This is the most damning thing you wrote, and I am sure that you cant see it. Co-operation? You assume the legitimacy of the entire process. It is so ingrained that you scoff at the very idea of anything different as if I don't know what's going on in your little club. Sir, its the landowners property to control. The very act of extending a civic claim to control those assets is destructive to the economic worth of the species as the basis for profitable management services, caring for species integral to maintaining a functioning ecosystem so that urban populations can take advantage of proximity. It has gone so far that you cant even conceive of such a thing. You are so used to civic control its no wonder I spend 80% of my time explaining to people how a free market in risk management works.
The UN is an American creation. It is intended as a get-around against the Constitution using the supposed primacy of internaitonal law. It benefits the extremely rich almost exclusively, all altruistic crocodile tears to the contrary.
Concur. Eric Hoffer stated that, "The fanatic is not really a stickler to principle. He embraces a cause not primarily because of its justness or holiness but because of his desperate need for something to hold onto."
The current environmental management system is a three-legged stool consisting of wealthy foundations, bureaucratic fiefdoms, and activist networks dominated by lawyers.
This strategy has the power to cut out all three legs. It only takes one.
What are the weapons the activist NGOs and bureaucrats use? They use the courts to broaden the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act... They need these weapons (that is what they call them).
This example will expose the granddaddy of them all: the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This case shows that civic administration of the ESA:
Up until now, all the landowner gets in a legal victory is a respite until the next round. Now, there is a difference: InsCert creates the potential for a civil alternative that takes back control of the asset. The ESA can be cited as reason to cede control back to the property owner as a superior manager. The Strategy of the Commoners uses existing environmental laws to decouple government agencies and their NGO collaborators from the legal assertion that they are disinterested and objective representatives of the public claim for ecosystem health. Landowners can recount their superior record, expose the record of harm due to civic mismanagement, and reveal the systemic motive for agencies and NGOs to instead serve corrupted interests and maintain endangered species in a state of crisis.
One can interpret anything as having harmful potential.
The ESA has unconstitutional bases in treaty law.
The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Title 16, Chapter 31, Subchapter II Section 1533 of the U.S. Code, assigns responsibility for enacting rules and regulations to the Secretary of the Interior (or the Secretary of Commerce). The text reads,
"Whenever any species is listed as a threatened species pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, the Secretary shall issue such regulations as he deems necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of such species."The delegated powers in this law are so broad that the rule-makers and regulators have the effective power to make law. They define illegal behavior, redefine the burden of proof, set penalties, provide enforcement personnel, and administer punishments, effectively combining all three (supposedly) separate and co-equal branches of government into one. The U.S. Constitution prohibits assignment of legislative authority by the Congress to the Executive Branch under both the Enumerated Powers Principle and the Separation of Powers Principle. Consolidation of legislative power into administrative government is clearly unconstitutional in practice, even if there are tenuous threads of authority that lend them supposed legitimacy. How do they get away with it?
The Endangered Species Act supposedly derives its authority to take private property from multilateral treaties, principally the Convention on Nature Protection and Wild Life Preservation in the Western Hemisphere, that entered into force on May 1, 1942, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) that entered into force on November 1, 1983 and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) 1 November 1983.
Administration of the ESA is under Admiralty Law, pursuant to amendments to the Trading with the Enemy Act and War Powers Act enacted during the bankruptcy of the corporate United States in 1933. These laws have had enormous effect upon property rights. To discuss them in depth is beyond the scope of this book. Once respect for common law was mortally wounded, all that the executive branch needed to accrue property was justification.
The Convention on Nature Protection must be read to be believed. In his summary report to a distracted Senate, Executive Report No. 5, April 3 1941, Secretary of State Cordell Hull misrepresented its virtually unlimited scope.
From the Preamble (bold emphasis added):
"The Governments of the American Republics, wishing to protect and preserve in their natural habitat representatives of all species and genera of their native flora and fauna, including migratory birds, in sufficient numbers and over areas extensive enough to assure them from becoming extinct through any agency within mans control;"
"The Contracting Governments agree to adopt, or to propose such adoption to their respective appropriate law-making bodies, suitable laws and regulations for the protection and preservation of flora and fauna within their national boundaries but not included in the national parks, national reserves, nature monuments, or strict wilderness reserves referred to in Article II hereof."
It cant work either. This treaty is contrary to natural law.
Nature is a dynamic, adaptive, and competitive system. Under changing conditions, some species go extinct, indeed, for natural selection to operate, they must. The problem arises when human influence grows so powerful that one can always attribute loss of a species to being "within mans control." When humans ask, "Which ones lose?" the treaty specifies, "None," and demands no limit to the commitment to save them all. This of course destroys the ability to act as agent to save anything, much less objectively evaluate how best to expend our resources to do the best that can be done.
The demand of this treaty is based upon an assumption that is a Type II error. It cannot be logically satisfied.
A government that derives power from a genetic status quo is incapable of a solution. This is a system that assumes protection and preservation work. It gives agencies of government unlimited monopoly power to manage all land use as if that would help. It supposes that agencies are experts interested only in fulfilling their mandate. It dedicates unlimited tax resources for protection of an unlimited number of species and their genera. It invokes itself across the entire nation. It assumes that destroying an economy will benefit native species. How would we then fund the research to learn to do better?
This unconstitutional treaty is the root of the proliferation of "sub-species." It is the cited authority for the powers exerted by Federal Agencies through the courts. Proponents for such multilateral treaties claim that they supercede the Constitution, per Article VI, Clause 2:
"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."
Supreme Court decisions have prohibited treaties that violate Constitutional provisions because government lacks the authority to conclude an agreement that violates Constitutional rights.
The Constitution specifies treaties concluded among sovereign nations. It is not possible to conclude a treaty with an unspecified composition of governments capable of post facto reservations or changes in scope and application. Post facto changes are effectively changes in the terms of the treaty after ratification. Suits in Federal Court to extend the scope and application of the ESA citing the an extended interpretation of a treaty are in violation of the 11th Amendment that prohibits extending any suit by or for a foreign power, to any of the United States.
The connection between the ESA and its authority in CITES has even less in common with its practical administration or the purpose of the treaty, as ratified by the Senate. The current thread of "logic" is that economic uses of land that alter habitat are equivalent to trading in endangered species. This assertion may be technically attributable to economic theory, however, to believe that this was intended by those who ratified CITES is dubious.
The ESA specifically prohibits any "take" of endangered species as follows in USC 1532:
The term "'take" means to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect, or to attempt to engage in any such conduct.
CITES was sold as a means to protect endangered species by outlawing trade in animal commodities such as ivory. (The theory underlying CITES has been completely discredited in practice. The black market nearly destroyed these animals in Africa. As it turns out, the best way to assure protection in perpetuity is private management, because the owners of the animals have reason to protect them to maintain future cash flow.)
There is no authority to take the use of land in this definition because there is no definition of "take" in the CITES at all. The UN has such a definition in the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Article 1, Chapter 1 that reads:
"Taking" means taking, hunting, fishing capturing, harassing, deliberate killing, or attempting to engage in any such conduct;Note that the CMS definition (including recursive elements) does not include the term "harm." We did this to ourselves, folks. This is a provision of the ESA that could be reformed by Congress as is the scope of powers illegally assigned to the "Secretary" (the rest may require the Supreme Court). There is no basis in treaty law that allows an attribution of "harm" as a basis for taking private property, let alone the potential for harm. If the customary application of the ESA is to control the use of private property in the interest of the enforcing agency instead of species protection, then the ESA is clearly unconstitutional in practice and destructive to its purported intent.
Civic administration of the ESA serves the interests of a financial elite.
The activist community is serving as agent for the prime civil beneficiaries of the Act: those who profit by sequestering competing resources, or reducing the cost of acquisition for conversion in use.
Upon collapse of the Brettonwoods Agreement, the Nixon Administration offered foreign investors the mineral wealth of the Western United States as collateral for U.S. Treasury Bonds. Agencies of the Federal Government are using the ESA, acting to collect and hold that weal as collateral, in violation of Governments most sacred public trust: private property rights.
These priorities, coupled with civic power without accountability, alienate environmental laws from their purpose. Banning offshore oil drilling or nuclear fuel reprocessing serves the interests of Treasury bond-holders in the Middle East. The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument sequestered low-sulfur coal deposits enriching Clinton supporter James Riady. Listing salmon as endangered pleased the owners of foreign aquaculture concerns, multinational agricultural interests, exported aluminum production, and increased domestic fossil fuel demand. Hard rock mining has passed increasingly into foreign ownership (reported distinctions in regulatory scrutiny between American citizens and foreign interests are disturbing).
It is a feeding frenzy among the already wealthy.
Civic administration of the ESA expresses a democratic interest in a valuable asset and is an urban subsidy.
Private property owners maintain the land, provide economic goods, and pay taxes that support their communities. The urban assertion is that protection of endangered species is necessary without proof that the owner of the remnant habitat was culpable for species decline. The opposite is more likely true. The species probably experienced the majority of its decline when the urban public converted the use of their land and placed their demands upon natural resources without the concurrent demand to pay for species protection. The rural owner holds all that remains of the asset, and is expected to submit their property to environmental protection for urban benefit without compensation.
Public claims on private property thus place a disproportionate burden on the rural owner for a speculative urban and civic benefit. Those owners of endangered species habitat are those who did NOT destroy the habitat sufficiently to extirpate the species and are expected to bear the sole burden of compensating for prior conversions sponsored by urban interests. This burden of discrimination deprives owners of the equal protection of the laws required by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, as enforced through 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The finding that they are the sole parties responsible for harm because the contested habitat is scarce, is a violation of Fourth Amendment protections of unreasonable seizure without establishing probable cause. It is a violation of the privileges and immunities of State Citizenship.
The reason private investment in ecosystem assets does not exist is that the public enlists a civic agent to take that use at below market value. A democratized commons destroys the product before the fact. The threat of civic monopoly interest in managing species habitat also suppresses the market value of associated assets to the point that the total account goes negative. The principal reason the species management market does not exist is civic price suppression, whether via the costs of regulatory compliance and the threat of confiscation via eminent domain. Both are violations of Fifth Amendment protections against uncompensated takings or deprivations of the use of private property.
Civic and NGO administration of the ESA is motivated to fail.
The idea that mere habitat protection and regulation of commerce constitutes species protection is suspect. With but a few exceptions, Federal protections under the terms and conditions of the ESA have failed. Very few endangered species have been delisted because of Federal protection.
The United States is committed to protect rare and endangered species. That does not mean that the government should own the land and pay the workers to manage the habitat, quite the contrary. As long as government is tempted to acquire and extend its power by projection of endangered status, it will conduct itself in a manner destructive to those flora and fauna in direct violation of that treaty.
There is no accountability in a system that derives more funding if it fails to deliver an effective service. We have already seen that wildlands require management. Federal maintenance of public lands is over $17 billion dollars in arrears. Agencies prefer to expend funds for land acquisition, instead. The State of California maintenance budget for public lands is over $3 billion dollars in arrears. It, too, continues a pattern of land use acquisition. When seven million acres of National Forests were incinerated, the USFS was rewarded with $2 billion dollars for fuels reduction. Given the motivational structure of the agencies, the answer is not simply more money.
In both instances, the cumulative effect of poor maintenance has had adverse effects on the threatened and endangered species that land acquisition was purported to protect. Both State and Federal governments have thus violated the terms of their contract for stewardship of public lands and cost-effective protection of rare and endangered species on a grand scale. They have demonstrated their true intent through their budget priorities.
There are better ways to improve environmental health than civic protection of habitat for endangered species, particularly when the managing agencies have financial and political reasons to fail. A market could work to manage their numbers and improve their health but, unfortunately, the dependent beneficiaries of the ESA stand firmly in the way.
Endangered species are transformation products of private property, the principal assets of private habitat management service enterprises.
Animals and plants result from uses of process assets that transform the state of commons. The bounded right to control of the use of process assets constitutes private property. Any taking of that control is a taking of the use. Any business that manages endangered species therefore must be free to control the use of those assets.
No industry will invest in an asset that has negative market value. No person can trade in an asset that has an indeterminate price. No market can function without civic respect for the rule of law, contract enforcement, and protection of private property rights as unalienable. A market cannot develop, and prices for ecosystem assets cannot be negotiated, while the prospect of civic takings remains. Civic price suppression has been so complete as to negate calculation of the economic value of habitat for endangered species. That does not mean that their potential economic value is nonexistent, quite the contrary. The behavior of civic agencies and the scope of public support for environmental protection demonstrate the pecuniary interests of both civic agents and the urban public.
Civic administration of the ESA expresses agency interest in taking an economically valuable asset and in accruing police power thereby.
The projection of power beyond those specifically enumerated by the Constitution demonstrates an interest on the part of government. Expression of interest denotes a profit motive, whether pecuniary or political. That interest indicates the presence of potential market value in the target asset.
Government is destroying the economic value of managing endangered species as a business, creating conditions for acquisition at minimal cost. It destroys also the ancillary uses of the property that could supply the capital for such a business until it develops. The agency budget rises by virtue of the court order to protect species and administer their recovery. To successfully list a species AND economically harm the owner BOTH benefit select agency interests.
When officers of government operate as interested parties, they are incapable of providing equal protection of the laws. Any confiscation of the use of private property by administrative authority without due process is prohibited under the 14th Amendment.
All citizens are entitled to separate State and Federal processes as a part of the privileges and immunities, equal protection, and due process clauses guaranteed under the Constitution. The United States Supreme Court applied this principle of federalism for the first time in 1992. The Court deemed laws passed by Congress as unconstitutional if Congress renders itself, or the states, politically unaccountable to their constituents, by coercing a State to perform a Federally mandated requirement. The political accountability test has restored the role of the Federal courts to protecting the property rights of citizens against assertions of civic power. The Supreme Court now applies the same Fourteenth Amendment standard against Federal action that it applies against the States.
Civic administration of the ESA is unaccountable, and is therefore destructive to the environment. It threatens worse.
The environment is a competitive system. To assume that after centuries of change in base conditions that it should assume a form similar to before humans or white humans arrived could be hugely destructive, particularly when we do cant know the goal, have no method, and no means to evaluate progress. To assume that humans are so destructive as to require separation from nature and that preservation is the only acceptable solution is worse.
Because of the harm already done, it will require enormous amounts of investment and labor to fix. Many experiments have shown that it can be done. How do we prioritize that work? Who will do it? What technically qualified person would work alone in the woods, bent over weeding under the threat of wolves or grizzly bears? Shouldnt we get the plants fixed first? How many educated people would that take? Arent we moving too fast?
A civic agent that prospers by coercive acquisition for ulterior purposes having nothing to do with ecology is incapable of objective conclusions. Without honest means to weigh the relative value of species or alleles, or the real threats they face, we cannot learn the importance of their interactions or cannot hedge the relative risks of specific methods. Without a profit motive, no one would want to characterize their adaptive mechanics, improve their response, or avoid doing unnecessary damage. Upon massive change in external conditions, it makes no sense to preserve our ignorance maintaining a genetic status quo under a maladaptive response system.
Executive Order 12986 indemnified the IUCN and their member NGOs and agencies from financial accountability for any damages. Indemnifying oil companies and government from liability for oxygenates gave us MTBE in groundwater and the Sierra Club supported it for years after the danger was understood. Big government and activist NGOs are not agents of either the public interest or environmental health, nor are they capable of satisfying the Equal Protection Clause under the Fourteenth Amendment. Sue them in the name of protecting the environment. They are taking dangerous risks.
Can you just hear the denial to those charges? Oh, what were doing really isnt so bad. Have you ever heard that before? Are people with no liability for mistakes likely to make them?
The rationale for the ESA was that interactions among species are complex and that, therefore, all species should be protected, because to do so maintains a healthy environment for humans. Without regard to whether this argument was misrepresented, the ESA is developing cumulative secondary effects that, in fact, degrade the global environment and may engender precisely such a catastrophic global environmental disaster. But, not the way that they would suspect.
Regulatory costs force industry offshore. Transportation costs rise and manufacturers pay higher costs for imported materials. Higher import volume brings increasing pest infestations, destroying domestic habitat. Foreign materials are extracted with less environmental protection and the people of those nations suffer the consequences. They dont like that. The balance of payments deficit balloons. Investors and political patrons line their pockets with the results: secure interest payments and military protection of offshore "interests," maintaining corrupt dictatorships of nations with badly degraded local habitats. It is a process that threatens global security.
Wars have always been bad for nature and are usually fought over resources. Given that yet another global conflict might include biological weapons, another world war might well be catastrophic.
The environment IS about our interaction with natural systems at the control boundary of our influence. It is a discipline of self-control. Consider the incontinent behavior of the activist community and its sponsors and their willingness, no, DESIRE to eradicate 80% of the human community.
The private property owner can do a better job. Take it back.
WA:"The greater wrong would be to do nothing to amend the ESA."
C_O:"I see. The tyranny of the urgent justifies the means. Really? After nearly thirty years?"
WA:"The diplomatic answer to pedantic snobbery would be to point out to you the possibility that though the ESA is almost as old as I am, I've only recently lit out for the wilds of civic responsibility. Elsewhere I read somewhere in those links I provided that one witness called to testify said he had spoken with the orignal bill-makers (I'm new to the vernacular) and that those he spoke with had no idea what kind of monster they were unleasing. Finally, I would paraphrase words from our own Declaration of Independence: "All experience has shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, rather than to right themselves by opposing the forms they have grown accustomed to..." Thirty years? And I know from very personal experience how slow the government moves and I realize there has been a roll call of legislation introduced that never went anywhere. My source, I'm sure you noticed, is personal outrage, and I hope it isn't extinguished before I'm at least planted some seeds for change.
C_O: "The very act of extending a civic claim to control those assets is destructive to the economic worth of the species as the basis for profitable management services, caring for species integral to maintaining a functioning ecosystem so that urban populations can take advantage of proximity. It has gone so far that you cant even conceive of such a thing. You are so used to civic control its no wonder I spend 80% of my time explaining to people how a free market in risk management works."
WA: I suppose the commerce clause is a kind of control on another species, us, the states, but we use it still, though it may have some faults. Or we're back to the thirty-year war againand the premise underlying the ESA: that we have caused species to go extinct. Whether you believe all of that or not, we still have an ESA and it has harmed farmers in the northwest, killed fire fighters.......
Computer models like these are 99% of the time complete trash.
I'm standing and cheering too.
At the risk of sounding foolish, as I'm still in the process of trying to understand your thesis (give me a break, was that your book I purchased?), there is a kind of species management market in the obvious farms and ranches across the country, as well as the various industry that uses other "species" resources: timber, tourism and its cousins. The various programs that have evolved and mutated from the ESA like the property owner incentive-program we talked about earlier, I imagine, approach the kind of reform you posit?
The UN is an American creation. It is intended as a get-around against the Constitution using the supposed primacy of internaitonal law. It benefits the extremely rich almost exclusively, all altruistic crocodile tears to the contrary.Guys, Why else would Ted Turner "give" the U.N. a billion dollars? Peace and love, George.
If you showed up in a suit ready to testify, they would probably change the meeting location and make it SECRET. Don't scare them that bad, TRUTH is NOT ALLOWED!
C_O:Then you are either blind, ignorant, or dishonest; take your pick. The sole power to confer peerage is strictly controlled by a university oligopoly
WA: The proposed legislation looks to correct some of the wrongs committed in the name of the ESA. Since science has been the tool used to enforce the ESA, HR2829/HR3705 provides a means to power for the landowners; the listing agency must accept data on the species collected by landowners. Funny how the little barking environmental dogs never seem to lack for the geist of the university knowledge, more polter than zeit (Ive waited all my life to use that.), to control private propertyusing a science of their own making to wage war against another power base of science. I read HR2829/HR3705 as an attempt to control some of the battle, that too often takes place in court, and which has resulted in landowners plowing their borders under as a kind of moat to keep species off, instead of waiting for the dreaded computer model that suggests the lack of alligators at the pole is a cause for concern. (Interesting, isnt it, that computer modeling enables those who seek to control property a means whereby they dont have to trespass. But hey, who drives 55? A kind of cyper-trespassing?)
C_O: The aforementioned schools are nearly totally dependent upon Federal funding or tax-exempt foundations that are using the power to control grant funding of scientific research to control the value of natural resources, commodities, real estate, imported goods, or even as tools of foreign policy to prop up foreign loans.
WA:Okay, I cant wait for the book. I think we both agree (read previous dialogue) that science is being misused. I dont think there is any argument that there is a power base using the universities. Ill be digesting the rest in time.
The ESA is not working. Regardless of the constituionality of the Act, it has been around for 30 years. In the end, most people dont wish to see any species become extinct. Given the underlying premise of the Actthat we are responsible and that by our actions we are causing extinctionthe Act supposes that it is in our power to change that, a Herculean task as we have learned.
Yet as it exists, the ESA harms our countrymen. I dont think anyone can argue for more wrong as was done to the farmers and ranchers around Klamath.
HR2829 and HR3705 are attempts to give more of a voice to the property owner. In the Klamath, there were three federal agencies, each disagreeing with the other, and in the end, the farmers lost. These bills would have prevented what happened in the Klamath by requiring the science be reviewed.
It is well-documented that many species that made it to the threatened/endangered list should never have been placed there in the first place. Lately, it is common for a species to be listed simply to affect negotiations for an Section 10 Exception. That is science? We know its not. But that is whats being done. Its time for a change. Long overdue.
First the ESA, was distorted significantly, when environmentalists destroyed the true meaning of species. That is the biggest problem that should be fixed by legislation. Specifically, the sockeye salmon in the can on the grocery shelf and the sockeye salmon in the upper reaches of the Snake River are both "Sockeye Salmon." Nope, according to environmentalists, each major river basin because of genetic adeptation has its own separate subspecies that needs to be separately protected. Similarly, the red squirrels from the top of the mountain are a different species from the red ground squires at the base of a certain mountain in the Western US and thus, development at the top of the mountain would threaten the habitat of the "top of mountain red ground squirrel."
All of the above is junk science. If in a Biology 101 Course in college, I had tried to dance such a tale on the definition of species, I would have properly flunked. It is only because of politically motivated legal interpretations that we have a new improved definition of species, not contemplated by those that wrote the law. This problem needs to be addressed by Congress.
Before, I leave this let me point out that exteme interpretation, which is what the environmentalists really are after - no growth & no development. If we went back in time 300 years and said that the bears, deer, and fish that were moving through what is now part of most major US cities were "unique species that needed to be protected," and there was an ESA, today all of those major cities would not exist, because development would have been stopped to keep the deer, bear, and fish. Actually, the ESA the way it is enforced today would try to have buildings destroyed and forest habitat planted where the building were, just to create a potential habitat that some might use in the hopes of trying to increase the population of the critters in the middle of the city.
Now for my second problem with what is proposed, modeling. In the early 1970's in graduate engineering school, I had a research traineeship and part of my assignment was to take the Club of Rome and the subsequent Jay Forester, Limits to Growth, Dynamo Computer simulation of how the world would end between 2005 and 2020 due to a combination of "over population, exhaustion of natural resources, and pollution."
I translated the Dynamo computer language into another simulation computer language and benchmarked the results. Then I created a multiple world model, i.e. developed economy (US, Europe & USSR) world, a sort of up & coming world, and a backwater world. I took limited UN data on the resources, populations, birthrates, death rates, capital, and plugged them into the models.
What I learned from the experience was that any model that attempts to forecast anything based on an implicit assumption of exponential growth and concludes that something gets so large as to cause a catastrophy, is just so much garbage. Modeling is fine, in my profession, I do lots of modeling. Common sense in the application of models and in the interpretation of their results is almost non-existent in academic circles. Most modelers I know have a great understanding of statistics and ways of twisting data to get "expected results." Most are also under extreme pressure to find something that is "interesting enough" to get the attention of professional journal editors (who want to sell journals or membership in professional societies) who will then figure out a peer review team to get the publicity generating article published. I suggest that if the academic community looked into the similarity between liberal media journalists and liberal journal editors it might find a strong overlap in agenda's. As such, shoving key aspects of ESA evaluation over to universities, isn't going to solve the real problems with the ESA.
WA: Who determines whether or not a species is endangered? History has shown that of the species listed, many should never have been listed. Once listed, the task of removing is remotely successful.
C_O: Endangered species should be treated economically as the assets that they are with a risk of loss priced actuarially.
WA: We still have a need to designate whether a species is endangered, threatened, or otherwise. The method employed for that task is broken; it has not evolved with us and the continued use of that method will continue to kill fire fighters trapped on a hillside, will continue to hold back water for farmers who require it to manage their own species of corn, alfalfa, beans, or cattle, to feed to that other neglected species, mankind. At the same time, a risk of loss premises a kind of science that would be better employed openly, with the animating contest of freedom, with dialogue among knowledgeable parties, all parties, as it should be, with built in checks and balances. The trend of ESA action is closed to any kind of dialogue, due in part to the lack of what HR2829/HR3705 are attempting to give to the process.
C_O: Census data should be private property as certified by an insured third party.
WA: And who determines the third party? HR 2829 and HR 3705 help define the intent of the ESA by addressing the process and parameters of listing a species. The idea that census data should be private property has frightful connotations considering the approach to property that has been used. Classifying census data (I assume you mean the numbers of a species, endangered/threatened or otherwise) as property is like building imaginary borders, staking out territory, that is only respected by man, not by the subject of the census, the species. This statement that you own sounds dangerously like the concern of the environmentalist and those charged with protecting an endangered speciesI believe that now the whereabouts of a vulnerable species is classified, the file kept in the Holy of Holiesto guard against nefarious butterfly collectors, prairie grass embezzlers intent on wreath-making, and pharmaceutical entrepreneurs looking for Indiana bat wings to brew aphrodisiacs for the international market.
C_O: I'll bet you think you came here to announce what we were to support and watch us line up like the great unwashed.
WA: Actually, I was hoping for a circular unruly mob, as opposed to an orderly line, to gather at the River. Which is why I made the inquiries at the individual states sites, before nailing my Broadside to this forum. Maybe you didnt see it? Im sure I visited the California site yesterday in my politickingI think Im getting the hang of the vernacular. Ive been visiting here long enough to know that even a quorum is unlikely. And what is really disturbing is knowing there has been a virtual roll call of proposed bills now dusty with time that have tried to change something that soiled itself years ago.
The ESA is evil; the most endangered species in America is free human beings.
C_O: 2. Fails to protect endangered species,
WA: I agree, but it is heresy to suggest anything else be done and if the ESA cannot be changed now, after Klamath and the Lynx Fraud, when?
C_O: 3.Serves the interests of a financial elite.
WA: And it needs to be changed. Long overdue. Its broken. Needs to be fixed.
C_O: Disinvests the species into a socialized commons motivated to fail.
WA: You would elevate the species to a rank deserving of nobility? Or? Taking your idea of species as private asset ? I assume the book will explain this one. Can I assume that your picture of biodiversity does include man in the frame, instead of the Insignificant Other, one of the heathen, opposed by the little environmental barking dogs.
C_O: 4. Obscures the fact that endangered species are the principal asset of a habitat management service and are therefore private property.
WA: And when the sandhill or whoopers migrate? What about groundwater? Its certainly not defined as a species, but the ESA has been used to define how much groundwater under property can be used.
C_O: 5. Destroys a competitive market that can manage species habitat at net benefit to society.
WA: What happened before the ESA? Even if it were torn up and shredded, even if SCOTUS ruled it unconstitutional, the mindset exists that any kind of development or other use of resurces is the cause of extinction. How would a competitive market be created, taking into account life before ESA? Im sure the book (could I have cut&pasted it for free?) will explain this.
C_O: and 6. Fails its intent to protect the environment because of its structural inability to balance competing ecological interests. Up until now, all the landowner gets in a legal victory is a respite until the next round. Now, there is a difference: InsCert creates the potential for a civil alternative that takes back control of the asset.
WA: Im sure the lawyers are interested in hearing more. Or by civil do you mean something else entirely? The previous statement makes me think otherwise. If that is the case, how many have endured tragedy travails simply because they couldnt pay an attorney for their right to exist? I believe the farmers of the Klamath used the courts
did it work for them? The precautionary principle wasnt applied to their case. Or were back to my beginning and our grievances will only be addressed with the ultimate civil case, one of war? And Im not the author of that ideathat train of thought has been growing in size for some time.
The following italicized statements are from:
Natural Process: That Environmental Laws May Serve the Laws of Nature, ISBN: 0-9711793-0-1. Copyrights © 1999, 2000, & 2001 by Mark Edward Vande Pol.
appreciatively used in connection with the on-going debate here concerning HR2829 and HR3705. (Kate L. Turabian devotees are free to scoff at my flagrant abuse of the scholarly form.)
One premise of Natural Process (NP) is that: Coercion begets resistance, enforcement, and punishment that can be rightly regarded as a destructive waste of energy that all too frequently induces unintended consequences.
This is followed later by the maxim:Regulations become webs of intentional ambiguity by which a punishing trap can be sprung.
The debate concerns the Endangered Species Act and the aforementioned bills, long overdue attempts to correct what is wrong with the ESA, a regulatory piece of legislation that isnt going to go away by ignoring it or fighting it individually in court. Rather than discussing the connotations of coercion, but keeping it in mind, and speaking about the ESA in the light of the maxim above: HR2829 and HR3705 are attempts to remove some of the ambiguity of the ESA. The bills do this by requiring science that isnt as open to debate as computer generated models; they bring into the regulation field data, peer review, a kind of checks and balances that our government was founded upon.
Assuming the alternative suggested by NP is a kind of free market whose only problems are the maintenance of law and order. Can we have that today? Such a stand on law and order alone (free of regulation), cannot be justified by the principle of liberty. Only the coercive measure of government need be strictly limited. (Hayek, Constitution of Liberty. P257)
Hayek again: (p224) Furthermore, a free system does not exclude on principle those general regulations of economic activity which can be laid down in the form of general rules specifying conditions which everybody who engages in a certain activity must satisfy.
If we can agree that the ESA needs some work, can we both assume that the other agrees that some form(s) of regulation are necessary? Weve come too far to recast the die by vote.
From NP, which Im to understand offers an alternative to the ESA and enforcement thereof .. Government regulation is structurally at odds with competitive principles, simply because non-uniform law enforcement is an invitation to corruption. Single solutions are mandated out of the idea that uniformity constitutes "fairness" even though uniform solutions among variable circumstances are not innately fair.
Bringing the debate to the two Congressional bills, taking the above into consideration, and assuming your argument against the ESA is the manner in which it is being enforced, a kind of non-uniform law enforcement
an invitation to corruption.
Im trying to find common ground. We do agree that the ESA needs work; it is broken. Were trying to agree to a fix. The Congressional bills do offer a kind of single solution though that solution would be based on debate, of all knowledge that can be brought to the table, and by peer review, back again to a kind of checks and balances, lessening the chance for corruption.
Im not seeing how NP would do it otherwise. Obviously, a good deal of thought and work have gone into it, but I get the impression that you would do away with all regulation, place a value on species/resources (to what standard? The environmentalists?) NP seems to be an attempt at re-labeling the terms: NP: The public can invest in verification businesses that assist individual entities to do their best at accounting the behavior of natural process assets that offset or mitigate human impacts, having a financial stake in that success.
Verification businesses sounds an awful, awful lot like peer review, checks and balances, that HR2829 and HR 3705 attempts to put in the process. Later on, NP seems to be saying that we never had to have an ESA to start with: the body of individual interests can more effectively settle disputes within the confines of contracts.>BR> I havent read the book, I realize, but this sounds like a juggling of the definitions, the terms well apply to the various players. Either that or wishful thinking.
NP:In order to develop the benefits of successful interdependence, we must choose to apply our collective will through reinforcement of individual integrity and respect for unalienable individual rights.
And here I thought we were both nursing our own personal outrage at the lack of respect for rights. Or wasnt our country founded on a principle such as this?
NPWe can create a process defined by individual responsibility for the individual share of the whole as a view of the self, enlightened by the price of that share. It is more realistic than to expect an individual to adopt such consideration out of either religious altruism or civic compulsion. In Watermelon Sugar, maybe.
Later, NP talks about brining analytical tools to the table. Those tools have been used. I understand them to be computer models, statistics. The concern is that that kind of science has been used too much, which I suspect is why you are opposed to HR2829.
NP, speaking about resources as a kind of tangible standard of wealth: Much of that investment in analytical tools is available and applicable to manage risk in environmental systems.
Yes, you would be opposed to HR2829/HR 3705 because analytical tools are the darlings of the scientists and here you clearly own the concept.
And then its back to a juggling of the terms again: NP:Civil power relies upon third party audit to validate reliable investment data. Civic enterprise has the power and scale to avoid independent verification.
Have you read the wording of HR2829/HR3705? Your use of the expression third party audit is simply another way of expressing peer review. Reliable investment data is another way of saying that empirical data, field tested data should be at the forefront in enforcement of the ESA.
NP raised the question: Can we trust private enterprise to manage the environment? If not, should we give the job to a government monopoly? That is the choice here.
Your choice is clear. Monopoly only has good connotations when we think of the game. But if we think of the gameMonopolyand recall the objectiveto winand then take into consideration what we already knowthat its dog eat dog out there, then we are left with a certain amount of regulation again. Weve lived with it long enough that its part of our DNA. Only a radical mutation (Civil War?) will change that.
The ESA needs work. As it is now, it is not working. Improvements can be made. Improvements should be made. We cannot continue to exist as a free society if the trend continues.
These are some of the words Mr. Smith read into the Congressional record upon introduction of S. 1912:
I cannot begin to describe for you the human toll that these biological opinions exacted on the farmers and ranchers in the Klamath Basin. Suicides and foreclosures have both occurred.Those who still have their farms lost most of their farm income last year, many depleting their life savings to hold onto their land. Ranchers were forced to sell off livestock herds. Stable farm worker communities were decimated as families moved to find work.
The real tragedy is that none of this had to occur.
Just this week, the National Research Council found that key decisions regarding the operation of the federal Klamath Project had no clear scientific or technical support.
If those words do not p-ss you off, then as Sam Adams said, May posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
We need to change the ESA. We need to change it now. There is legislation in Congress that proposes to do that. Let us all get behind the effort so that the needless loss of life will end. Contact your representatives and senators in Congress and demand action.
There is an analogy to our nations early days, during which legitimate grievances were ignored and a crisis followed. If the comparison were made, would it fall on uncaring ears?
Three years from now someone will notice this has occurred and wonder WHY? Then there will be a multimillion dollar investigation and four more agencies to correct what you are correcting right now, the spread of false dandelion.
Stupidity is a growth industry. It looks like next year I'll be using 2,4-D instead of RoundUp for catsear. That should help. I'll run an experiment this month.
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