Wednesday, February 06, 2013

When the best you can say is, "At least she's not a rancher..."

In today's installment of "Obama Doesn't Give a Shit About Public Lands," his nomination of Sally Jewell to run the Department of Interior is at least interesting fodder with which to sling some mud at Gang Green and their conciliatory approach to having the interests they are supposed to represent get completely derailed.  

Like this:
Molly McUsic, president of land conservation-focused Wyss Foundation, told the Post in an email Jewell "understands the full economic potential of America's resources."

"She knows the oil-and-gas business from having worked at Mobil and in the banking industry, but also understands the growing economic potential of America's $646 billion outdoor recreation industry," McUsic said. "She knows that to grow the economy, development of energy resources must be on equal ground with the protection of places that drive tourism, travel and recreation."
Or this
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune called Jewell a champion in the effort to connect children with nature and said she has “a demonstrated commitment to preserving the higher purposes public lands hold for all Americans — recreation, adventure, and enjoyment.


Aldo Leopold warned us about monetizing the environment, the risk of viewing the land as a commodity:

One basic weakness in a conservation system based wholly on economic motives is that most members of the land community have no economic value. Wildflowers and songbird are examples. Of the 22,000 higher plants and animals native to Wisconsin, it is doubtful whether more than 5 per cent can be sold, fed, eaten, or otherwise put to economic use Yet these creatures are members of the biotic community, and if (as I believe) its stability depends on its integrity they are entitled to continuance.

When one of these non-economic categories is threatened and if we happen to love it, we invent subterfuges to give it economic importance. At the beginning of the century song birds were supposed to be disappearing. Ornithologists jumped to the rescue with some distinctly shaky evidence the effect that insects would eat us up if birds failed to control them. The evidence had to be economic in order to b valid.

It is painful to read these circumlocutions today. We have no land ethic yet, but we have at least drawn nearer the point of admitting that birds should continue as a matter of biotic right, regardless of the presence or absence of economic advantage to us.

WildEarth Guardians at least went to bat swinging on this one, discussing Ms. Jewell's poor responses on questions about global climate change:
And what does the President do?  He nominates an outdoor enthusiast who refused to take a stand on climate change for fear of upsetting customers with a “broad array of political views.” 
Yeah, not exactly optimistic. So thanks, Guardians, for still being willing to call a spade a spade.

Congressman Grijalva had a lot of support from the environmental community, but he seemed a little cool on it himself, lately seeming to want to stay in the House and take a plum position on the Subcommittee on Natural Resources. And that's good, as he probably can do more good there and in Arizona for the long-term than the BS he was likely to encounter at DOI. But, goddamn it would have been sweet to have someone who wants to save public lands for their own sake, not for the sake of camping trips and photo ops.

If anyone has a picture of Ms. Jewell in a cowboy hat or boots, please send it along.

No, don't.

Yes, do.

No, don't. It might just be the final straw. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's so frustrating that our President just doesn't get it.

Connecting children with nature really isn't the primary objective of the DOI - what about their parents, aren't American parents responsible for anything their kids do anymore? Keeping nature available for kids to connect with is.