An interesting article in the Washington Examiner pointed out that more than 700 new species are likely to be added to the ESA (Ecological Society of America) Endangered Species List. According to the article, the data upon which these decisions is made is often not disclosed to the public (for reasons I can’t understand).
Nonetheless, this often shady data is then used by the ESA to determine new species in need of our immediate common protection. And as soon as an animal goes on the endangered species list, its habitat, no matter where that habitat may be, comes under direct control of the federal government. You have 3,000 acres of land? Sorry, you can’t use that land how you will. Because there’s the possibility that a small population of spotted elven frog-stomping beetles might depend on your land for survival.
In the words of the article:
Now comes news federal officials are nearing a decision to add more than 700 new species to the endangered list between now and 2018.
Inclusion of two of the species involved—the Sage Grouse and Prairie Chicken, both found predominantly in western states, including Texas and the Dakotas — could halt the U.S. energy boom in its tracks.
Why? Because putting the birds on the endangered species list empowers federal bureaucrats to limit use of millions of acres of privately owned lands, thus effectively taking them out of energy exploration and development.
Whether adding them to the endangered species list is the proper course of action is disputed in part because federal officials have yet to make public all of the underlying justifications on which they are basing their actions.
The situation provides yet another illustration of the maxim that the public loses when government makes policy in private.
Exactly. As if imminent domain weren’t bad enough. This is yet another example of how consensus science is in bed with power politics. Whether it is climate experts, medical researchers, evolutionary biologists, you name it. Public funding of science seems like a great idea, but it doesn’t usually work out very well. When scientists rely on the civil government for a paycheck, it’s uncanny how often their findings support their sugar daddy’s agenda.