August 14, 2019
An opinion regarding ...
“The Trump administration announced far-reaching revisions to the Endangered Species Act”
[first enacted in 1973 by a Republican President and Administration]
Political pros and cons are currently and over the coming months will be engaged by this controversial fiat.
“...Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico, the top Democrat on the committee that oversees the Interior Department’s budget, said Democrats were considering invoking the Congressional Review Act, a 1996 law that gives Congress broad authority to invalidate rules established by federal agencies, to block the changes.
The Endangered Species Act has been regulators’ most powerful tool for protecting fish, plants and wildlife ever since it was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon in 1973. The peregrine falcon, the humpback whale, the Tennessee purple coneflower and the Florida manatee all would very likely have disappeared without it, scientists say. ...”
“...A recent United Nations assessment, some environmentalists noted, warned that human pressures are poised to drive one million species into extinction and that protecting land and biodiversity is critical to keep greenhouse gas emissions in check.
Climate change, a lack of environmental stewardship and mass industrialization have all contributed to the enormous expected global nature loss, the United Nations report said. ...”
However, far reaching practicable health considerations—not elaborated upon in these articles—especially including the following references should be taken into account relative to consequential harm to humans, animals and the environment, for sustaining life on earth:
How Do the Extinctions of Other Creatures Affect Humans Directly? https://sciencing.com/extinctions-other-creatures-affect-humans-directly-20692.html
“...Scientists have also discovered links between the incidence of West Nile virus and hantavirus and local reductions in biodiversity....”; “... Each species that vanishes may hold the key to any number of medical breakthroughs, and the loss of these resources could prove a terrible blow to humans. ...”
“...Biodiversity loss tends to increase pathogen transmission across a wide range of infectious disease systems,"; “...The authors focused on diseases—including Lyme, West Nile virus, hantavirus and nine others—around the world. In each case they found that the maladies have become more prevalent during the time in which local biodiversity shrank. ...”
“...Throughout history, humans have considered birds to be our protectors, our vigilant sentinels, writes the Nobel laureate immunologist Peter Doherty in his 2012 book Their Fate Is Our Fate: How Birds Foretell Threats to Our Health and Our World. "Way back to mythological times, guard duty has been part of the avian job description. Gods with the body of a man and the head of a bird, like the ibis, falcon, hawk or heron, watched over the ancient Egyptian," he wrote. ...”
“...Conclusion: While some human health effects due to biodiversity loss may be direct and easily perceptible while others are indirect may not be appreciated currently. According to the World Health Organization, the adverse health effects brought in by loss of biodiversity far exceeds dangers of implication of climate change to human health. Health professionals should advocate for the preservation of biodiversity as it has a powerful impact on frequency of disease transmission in the community.”
North Carolina (USA) Ecological Services: “Why do We Care About Endangered Species in North Carolina?” https://www.fws.gov/nc-es/es/whocares.html
WHY SHOULD WE BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE LOSS OF SPECIES?
Extinction is a natural process that has been occurring since long before the existence of man. Normally, new species develop, through a process known as speciation, at about the same rate that other species become extinct. However, because of air and water pollution, forest clearing, loss of wetlands, and other man-induced environmental changes, extinctions are now occurring at a rate that far exceeds the speciation rate. Each extinction diminishes the diversity and complexity of life on earth. The loss of a single species may result in few environmental repercussions however, all life on earth is interconnected. If enough "living connections" are broken, whole ecosystems could fail[,] the balance of nature could be forever altered, and our own survival could be jeopardized. Furthermore, the diversity of animal and plant life provide us with food and many of our life-saving medicines. When a species is lost, the benefits it might have provided are gone forever.”
It is problematic as to whether “cherry picking” i.e. allowing arbitrary selected species extinction is or could be scientifically feasible.
The overriding decision(s) should rest on the side of human, animal and environmental health and wellbeing, not self-serving financial interests, or partisan political or unfounded ideological arguments (right, left or center; Democrat/Republican/Independent); liberal/moderate/conservative).
“One Health” is a nonpartisan issue/concept/approach nationally and internationally: “One Health is the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, plants and our environment.” “One Health implementation will help protect and/or save untold millions of lives in our generation and for those to come.”
Historical footnote: In 1972, the Louisville-Jefferson County Kentucky “Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Society (JCVMS)” was involved with and promoted the Kentucky Endangered Species Act (1972) https://www.animallaw.info/statute/ky-endangered-species-chapter-150-fish-and-wildlife-resources-0 enactment helping to advance the state (Kentucky) becoming the 6th State to enact such a law. The late Naturalist/humanitarian Roger Caras https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_A._Caras assisted in these efforts.
The original Kentucky legislative sponsors were Republicans, Senator Walter “Stu” Reichert and Representative Eugene P. Stuart. At the time, in the Voice-Jeffersonian newspaper Sen. Reichert was quoted as saying “Kentucky takes a pretty good view of conservation” and Rep. Stuart said, “If you can stop the killing the market for these skins you can stop the killing of the animals, which is important to the ecological balance of the entire planet.” The bipartisan bill passed unanimously, in both the House and Senate and the Democratic Governor Wendell H. Ford https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Ford) (later Kentucky U.S. Senator) signed the bill without fanfare.
Later, the JCVMS was contacted by the late Christine Stevens, founder of the Animal Welfare Institute, Washington, DC https://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/15/us/christine-stevens-84-a-friend-to-the-animals.html, whose husband was Roger L. Stevens https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roger_L._Stevens. The JCVMS agreed to join with Ms. Stevens’ national Endangered Species Act advocacy.
Notably, this was an era when political leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties generally tended to practice the legal principle of reasonable comity in states and nationally.