Changes in the Earth’s orbit 55million years ago caused the planet to warm up by 5C, according to new research. A study by climate scientist Rob DeConto of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues at the University of Sheffield found that orbital changes triggered the melting of vast areas of permafrost at the poles, which released greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The extreme warming events were called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and took place over thousands of years.
Previously it was thought that the oceans were the source of the carbon. ‘The standard hypothesis has been that the source of carbon was in the ocean, in the form of frozen methane gas in ocean-floor sediments,’ DeConto said.
‘We are instead ascribing the carbon source to the continents, in polar latitudes where permafrost can store massive amounts of carbon that can be released as carbon dioxide when the permafrost thaws.’
DeConto's team used a new, high-precision geologic record from rocks in central Italy to show that the PETM occurred during periods when Earth's orbit around the sun was both highly eccentric - non-circular - and oblique, or tilted.
Orbit affects the amount, location and seasonality of solar radiation received on Earth, which in turn affects the seasons, particularly in polar latitudes, where permafrost and stored carbon can accumulate.
They then simulated climate-ecosystem-soil interactions, accounting for gradually rising greenhouse gases and polar temperatures plus the combined effects of changes in Earth orbit.
Their results show that the magnitude and timing of the PETM can be explained by the orbitally triggered decomposition of soil organic carbon in the circum-Arctic and Antarctica.
Enthusiasm for "Environmentally Safe" Products on the Wane
While U.S. consumers may think and talk green, they do not necessarily back up these sentiments by putting their money where their mouths are, according to the latest consumer intelligence from the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer™.
While 65% of American adults agree with the statement "preserving the environment is very important," only 31% of adults purchased environmentally friendly or "green" household products in the last 12 months. The top three environmentally-friendly products purchases by U.S. adults are light bulbs (18%), paper towels (12%) and laundry detergent (11%). In addition, only 22% of consumers who remodeled their homes in the last 12 months said the used environmentally friendly/"green" products for their renovation.
Moreover, data from the last five years indicate that consumers are now less likely to pay more or give up convenience for green products. For instance, the percentage of U.S. adults who agreed with the statement "I am willing to give up convenience in return for a product that is environmentally safe" declined 16% in the past five years, from 56% in 2007 to 47% in 2011. Likewise, the percentage of adults who report "I am willing to pay more for a product that is environmentally safe" declined 13%, from 60% to 52%, in the last five years.
Consumers aged 18-24 are the only adult age group whose willingness to give up convenience or pay more for green products has held steady over the past five years. In addition, 53% of consumers aged 18-24 recycled products and 4% participated in environmental groups/causes in the last 12 months.
"It seems that perhaps many people's worries have shifted to their own needs versus those of the greater good--not uncommon during an economic crisis when livelihoods have been compromised or threatened," said Anne Marie Kelly, EVP Marketing & Strategic Planning at GfK MRI. "On a more positive note, our data indicate that the youngest adults still have their green mindsets and behaviors intact."
Global Warming Hysteria: Indigenous People Are Poor, Not Good Examples
Some global warming hysterics seek to make us all poor to save the planet. How else explain a National Geographic blogger named Stephen Leahy telling us that we should let indigenous people teach us how to live a low carbon lifestyle. From “Indigenous Peoples Can Show the Path to Low-Carbon Living If Their Land Rights Are Recognized:”
Many indigenous peoples are living examples of societies thriving with sustainable, low-carbon lifestyles. Successfully meeting the global climate change challenge requires that much of the world shift from high carbon-living to low. This shift is daunting. Current emissions for Australia and the United States average about 20 tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. In the coming decades that needs to fall to two tonnes per person as it is currently in Brazil or the Dominican Republic. Emissions from most indigenous peoples are even lower and are amongst the lowest in the world.
But indigenous people use low amounts of carbon because they tend to be in terrible poverty or lead hunter/gatherer existences, as in the Amazon. But the IPCC would-be rulers of the world’s economy apparently think that we should embrace our inner destitution:
All options for making the shift from high- to low-carbon living need to be explored and that’s why the United Nations University Traditional Knowledge Initiative (UNU) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) invited indigenous peoples to a special three-day workshop in Cairns, Australia last week…The Climate Change Mitigation with Local Communities and Indigenous peoples workshop offered a number of “examples of local peoples in Siberia, in Australia, northern Canada and in some African countries demonstrating that it is possible to change our behavior,” he said.“I live in a shack but I love being on my ‘bubu’, my traditional land,” said Marilyn Wallace of the Kuku Nyungka ‘mob’ (tribe) in northern Queensland, Australia.
Living in a shack may be fine for the few, but most of the world has a higher ambition. But reducing living standards is apparently part of the anti-global warming cause:
“The IPCC has been issuing major reports for 20 years now and things have only gotten worse. What does that say? It says it is not changing the way people behave or the systems that reinforce this,” said Tauli-Corpuz, a member of the indigenous Kankana-ey Igorot community in the Philippines. Dealing with climate change means changing the current economic system that was created to dominate and extract resources from nature, she said. “Modern education and knowledge is mainly about how to better dominate nature. It is never about how to live harmoniously with nature.” “Living well is all about keeping good relations with Mother Earth and not living by domination or extraction.”
That’s nothing less than a prescription for mass poverty. Do we really want most of the world to have 60 year life expectancies and lives often threatened by hunger and want?
If we love our fellow man, we will want to help those currently living very poor in the world thrive. That will increase life expectancies, reduce illness and suffering, and promote human freedom. But thriving requires good transportation, electricity, bounteous energy, and the development of resources. There is no other way. And for at least the next few decades, that means fossil fuels. Destitution should be Enemy Number One, not carbon dioxide.
The Utter Desperation of Global Warmists
By Alan Caruba
In the “glory years” of the global warming hoax, you had Al Gore picking up Oscars and Nobel Prizes (shared with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and government employees like James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies were picking up wads of cash as awards, speech fees, and grants.
The folks who conjured up the computer models featured in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports also did quite well for themselves, along with all the others who climbed on the gravy train of global warming grants.
And then in 1998 a cooling cycle set in. It was hard to hide because the weather satellite data was indisputable, but try to hide it they did. Even then, however, there was a handful of outspoken meteorologists and climatologists who were trying hard to get out the message that the perfectly natural warming cycle was over and had been replaced, thanks to—guess what?—a lower output of solar radiation by the SUN.
Still the warmists persisted, infiltrating school systems to frighten children, brainwashing students in colleges, and coercing the public through apocalyptic books, through magazine and newspaper articles, and on television and the Internet.
In 2009, the release of a huge cache of emails between the IPCC global warming perpetrators instantly became known as “Climategate” as the world learned that it was all a scam, a hoax, a fraud based on deliberately falsified computer models, and force fed to the public.
The desperation of the warmists was palpable.
In 2006, Grist, an eco-magazine, called for Nurenberg-style trials for skeptics. By 2007, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. had called any doubts about global warming treason. “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” Two years later in 2009, Kennedy called coal companies “criminal enterprises”, declaring that their CEO’s “should be in jail…for all of eternity.” In 2008 NASA’s Hansen was calling for trials of climate skeptics for “high crimes against humanity.”
Didn’t like the warmist’s bogus science? A former member of the Clinton administration, Joe Romm, defended a comment on his Climate Progress website that warned that a generation of brain-washed youth would see to it that skeptics would “be strangled in their beds.”
Today, another Clinton appointee, Carol Browner, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator is one of Obama’s “czars” and the unseen specter whispering in the ear of Lisa Jackson, the current EPA administrator. She is joined by John Holden, an Obama science advisor, and Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu.
If threats of jail and murder couldn’t shut up the skeptics, then Professor Kari Marie Norgaard, speaking at a warmist confab, “Planet Under Pressure”, put forth the notion that any science-based skepticism—based on actual, not fictional data—should be “recognized and treated” as some sort of aberrant behavior.
Doubt global warming? Well, you must be nuts!
Norgaard is a professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon. As she put it, “Climate change poses a massive threat to our present social, economic and political order. From a sociological perspective, resistance to change is to be expected. People are individually and collectively habituated to the ways we act and think. That habituation must be recognized and simultaneously addressed at the individual, cultural and societal level—how we think the world works and how we think it should work.”
“Should work”? The Earth—the oceans, the clouds, and its entire eco-system—doesn’t give a rat’s patoot about how warmists and other weather crazies think it “should work.” All that intellectual claptrap adds up to a totalitarian belief that people who disagree with global warming should be jailed or killed.
And in true totalitarian fashion reminiscent of the Stalin era when people simply disappeared from public records and reports, on April 2nd Norgaard’s bio for Whitman College could no longer to be found on the its website. True to the eco-fascist approach, she had become a liability, a non-person for having revealed their plans for humanity.
Regular people who actually do something useful with their lives know that intellectuals like Norgaard hold them in utter contempt, but it is those who profess belief in global warming that should be regarded with grave and serious suspicion.
Those who use global warming, i.e., the assertion that carbon dioxide emissions should be restricted and controlled, are the true enemies of progress, of freedom, and of humanity.
In the twentieth century intellectuals foisted Communism on the world, thus ensuring that millions of Russians, Chinese, Cambodians and others would be killed for their dissent. Intellectuals are always the first to embrace every dictator and to excuse their methods.
The warmists are increasingly desperate as their dreams of global domination are falling apart.
In Europe and here in America all their schemes to replace the real production of electricity with solar panels and wind turbines are being rejected. Their plans for herding populations into cities and onto mass transit meet with resistance. Parents are objecting to their eco-curricula in schools. Al Gore has become a joke.
Consider this, if they were in charge, anyone who voiced dissent from their global warming-climate change lies would be in concentration camps, undergoing “re-education”, being “treated” with mind-altering drugs, or dead.
The Genocidal ambitions of the Green/Left
In my articles I've written about agreements between the United Nations and American politicians of both parties to gradually abolish the concept of private property, outlawing the physical means of self-defense along the way so that property-owners can't fight back against foreign invaders or their own government, run amok. Others have written about the deliberate destruction of national sovereignty and the American economy in general by the same traitors and enemy agents. (The problem with Barack Obama is determining which one he is.)
An overwhelming majority of your own Congressional representatives—including those whom you elected during the Tea Party uprising—have voted for legislation that criminally supports these treasonous undertakings. Each of the current Presidential candidates (with one exception) belongs to an international group that supports them, as well.
Ultimately, under a United Nations program openly advertised as "Agenda 21", to which your own city government probably subscribes already, most human beings would be rounded up and forced into gigantic, crowded super-tenements, while the countryside they once inhabited is allowed to "return to nature"—except, of course, for a few "exceptionally valued" public figures, nomenklatura, who would be awarded luxurious country estates, or dachas, staffed with a selection of comely and compliant peasant boys and girls, grateful simply to be taken from the misery and squalor of the futuristic slums.
Ludwig von Mises once said that the dream of every socialist is that he or she will wind up at the top of the heap. The countryside cleared of humanity, the luxurious summer home, the hordes of pretty serfs to attend their owners' every whim, this is the guilty desire of every socialist I've ever known; it is the glue that holds the Left together.
Not satisfied with this series of crimes against humanity, its advocates, including the UN uppercrust and elite members of Obama's Administration, have publicly advocated the reduction of Earth's human population by at least ninety percent—requiring the death, by starvation, gunshot, bayonet, clubbing, biological warfare, and poison gas of 6,156,456,303 human beings—an act of "democide" or mass murder, that makes Cambodia's killing fields, Turkey's slaughter of Armenians, Stalin's forced collectivization of Soviet agriculture, Mao's "Massacre of the Landlords", the Scottish Highland Clearances, and the Nazi Holocaust itself, all seem like Sunday picnics in the park.
Now, perhaps, we have an idea what the Department of Homeland Security has in mind for the 450,000,000 rounds of .40 S&W they've just ordered—Holocaust-levels of ammunition—and why, without any legal process to back them up, they are said to have demanded that firearms dealers stop selling military ammunition—.223. 9mm, .45 ACP, so goes the rumor, and if it's true, can .30 Carbine, .308, 7.62x39, and .30-06 be very far behind?—to civilians like you and me.
See how it works: they get all the ammunition they want, at our expense, and in a political climate where they claim to have a right to kidnap or murder American civilians for any reason that takes their fancy. Meanwhile they do their damnedest to keep us from buying ammo ourselves.
At the same time, the Obama Administration has illegally prevented about a million World War II and Korean War vintage M1 carbines and rifles from being repatriated from Korea, and there are stories of a similar number of 1911A1 pistols being kept out of American hands, as well.
Obama warned us at the beginning of his ill-gotten term, that he fully intended to build his own army, equal to anything the Pentagon possesses. Now, apparently, he's got it, and is beginning to supply it, while attempting in a number of ways to deprive every man, woman, and responsible child in America of their unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission.
But once again, I have digressed.
For the enemies of individual freedom, one of the most important keys to acquiring power is the claim that an uncontrolled population of individuals, in an unregulated economy, is rapidly rendering the whole planet uninhabitable. (Some people—they believe a small but annoying minority—will resist this, which is why everyone but the government must be disarmed.) For the good of everyone, including Blessed Mother Gaia, people must be deindividualized and controlled, while industry must be tightly constrained, or better yet, shut down altogether
Never mind that there is absolutely no proof to this claim, whatever.
Never mind that each and every assertion made in its support has, sooner or later, been clearly shown to be a baldfaced, pathological lie.
Never mind that a great many of the leading academic perpetrators of this historically colossal hoax have actually been caught in the midst of their chicanery, conspiratorial e-mails they sent to their accomplices released to the world, along with one humiliating exposure after another of their crooked, shoddy, pseudoscientific "research" methods.
Never mind that they have attempted to suppress dissenting voices through intimidation and even the threat of force, whenever denial of tenure, firing, or refusal to publish scientific work to the contrary failed.
While too many have taken "climate change" to their hearts like a religion, and are unlikely to be budged by anything resembling facts, the leaders all know better. Environmentalism is a Ponzi scheme with machineguns.
Kari Norgaard, an Oregon professor of sociology and environmental studies (two obviously-related disciplines—not) has decided, in her august wisdom, that doubting "anthropogenic climate change"—which she, of course, equates with racism, throwing in the leftist kitchen sink of calumny—is a "sickness" for which doubters need to be "treated".
Naturally, Norgaard isn't the only one of these intellectually jackbooted would-be benders and shapers of humanity and the world we're forced to share with them. She's only among the latest and most outspoken. Folks think David Suzuki, Canada's answer to Mister Wizard. is warm and loveable, reminding them of Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid.
He's also the Grand Kleagle of ecofascist philosopher-thugs, going over the top a couple of years ago when he insisted something must be done—some sanction taken against—all of those nasty ingrates and malcontents who refuse the golden blessing of his profound insights.
Suzuki's a slimy, disingenuous bastard, an evil Captain Kangaroo whose very cutest trick so far is to point out an apparent lack of anti-warming articles in peer-reviewed journals, without telling you of an active conspiracy—just one of many scandals laid bare in the e-mails between climate "scientists" at the Universities of East Anglia and Pennsylvania State—not to permit such articles to be published.
Exactly like socialists who attack the free market system they've crippled with taxation and regulation, warmistas are more than happy to break both your legs and then make fun of you because you can't run.
In an article posted about a month ago on the HuffingtonPost.com, the headline cries out, incredibly, "DENY DENIERS THEIR RIGHT TO DENY!" It seems that, when it come to freedom of speech, liberals, progressives, or whatever they're calling themselves these days, can talk the talk but they can't walk the walk. Walking and talking at the same time appears to challenge their intellectual capacity and motor skills. Suzuki's first three paragraphs are among the worst tangles of lies, half-truths, invalid premises, and faulty reasoning I've ever seen.
Others of his ilk want academics fired, or at least denied tenure if they won't toe the line. Some ardent warmers want them arrested and jailed, others want them shot or hanged—yes, I am being perfectly serious. Back in what just may turn out to be the First Dark Ages, "dungeon, fire, and sword" weren't used only to extinguish the "faith of our fathers", whatever that may have been, but the light of reason and the eyes of science, too. Galileo was "shown the instruments" and recanted.
Thanks to heroic individuals like Marc Morano at ClimateDepot.com, and growing legions of highly courageous educators like William "Bill" Gray, Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, the goodguys are beginning to win the "global warming" battle. You can always tell when the badguys know they're losing: they change their names and the names of the causes they support. "Liberal" becomes "Progressive", "Global Warming" becomes "Climate Change". The more clearly people are able to see and hear these snake-oil peddlers and flim-flam artists—or their e-mails —the less persuasive they become.
But the war is far from over, and the last battlefield that must be taken is electoral politics and the Old Media, where all of the embarrassing revelations of the last three or four years are being spiked by the round-heeled press, and treated by most politicians (including three out of four leading Republicans) as if they never happened.
Supporting non-collectivist candidates is all-important, but we must be careful. The last time, we elected hundreds of politicians who betrayed us almost immediately, by trying to vote away the Bill of Rights. The one and only individual in politics I trust today is Ron Paul.
On the other hand, you can start to get the United Nations and its genocidal Agenda 21 out of America today, by getting it out of your town, where most individuals are completely unware that its many and varied tentacles have thoroughly infiltrated and subverted local politics.
To protect and conserve
Texas ranchers are doing more for animal conservation than animal-rights groups, because they allow animals to be hunted and killed on private ranches. Charly Seale, executive director of the Exotic Wildlife Association, makes this bold — and likely controversial — point on a recent CBS 60 Minutes report. Although this seems counterintuitive, a small dose of economic thinking will unravel this enigma.
Aristotle said, "What is common to many is least taken care of, for all men have greater regard for what is their own than for what they possess in common with others." This is the famous "tragedy-of-the-commons" concept, which Garrett Hardin wrote about in 1968. He was discussing a pasture without clear property rights and overgrazing by cattle. As Hardin explained, "Therein is the tragedy. Each man is locked into a system that compels him to increase his herd without limit — in a world that is limited.… Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all."
Plainly stated, the tragedy is that no one has an incentive to take care of something that they do not own. For example, if you had to use a bathroom, and I gave you a choice of a bathroom at a public park, a bathroom at a private park (let's say Disneyland), or bathroom in an individual's home, which would you choose? I am willing to bet your last choice would be the public bathroom at the public park. Disneyland, on the other hand, wants people to enjoy the park experience (clean facilities contribute to that) and come back. If someone does not clean their bathroom, they suffer on a personal level. Thus, they have an incentive to clean their own bathroom. With common or public ownership, however, there is no personal benefit to cleaning or maintaining the bathroom facilities.
Chickens, cows, and pigs are examples of why private ownership is good for animal populations. The fact that we kill these animals every day might bother some people. Yet I have never heard of a chicken, cow, or pig facing extinction. The reason is simple: people breed them. Now, we can either assume people breed these animals because they enjoy watching animals breed (which is a completely different subject!), or we can acknowledge there's a financial incentive to breed.
Of course, this presupposes that people are allowed to own these animals in the first place. A beef rancher's job is to raise cows to put on your BBQ grill or smoker and eventually satisfy your appetite. The rancher has an incentive to kill his cows at a certain rate, and he has an incentive to introduce a bull to a cow or a rooster to a hen and let them "do their thing." This ensures beef or poultry is available to put on your plate.
Property rights — ownership — have also saved the elephant. Countries that allow community-ownership rights are more successful at increasing elephant populations than countries that ban poaching. Terry Anderson and Shawn Regan noted that, in contrast to Kenya, where hunting is illegal, Zimbabwe has implemented a program called the Communal Areas Management Programme for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE). With CAMPFIRE, which allows private management of the animals (including the right to hunt them), elephant populations have increased by 50 percent. In countries that ban hunting, such as Kenya, the elephant population has decreased between 60 and 70 percent.
So, how are Texas ranchers connected to African animals? According to the 60 Minutes report, Texas has more exotic animals than anywhere on earth. Approximately a quarter million endangered animals live in Texas, and 125 different species are represented. The Exotic Wildlife Association, located in Ingram, Texas, represents 5,000 exotic animal ranchers. These ranchers have found it in their financial self-interest to protect the exotic animals that live on their ranches. Ironically, allowing these animals to be hunted on private property has helped them to thrive. In fact, three varieties of antelope have been saved from the brink of extinction. The endangered-animal population in Texas is increasing, while it is falling in the animals' native Africa.
One hunter, Paul, told Lara Logan of 60 Minutes, "The money that I spend to hunt these animals keeps these animals alive on these ranches." Of course, this model is not fortunate for the animal that happens to get killed, but the species as a whole benefits by allowing this private-property system to work. Even an analysis by the US Fish and Wildlife Service that was shown on the 60 Minutes report admits that private ranches work: "Hunting … provides an economic incentive for … ranchers to continue to breed these species.… Hunting … reduces the threat of the species extinction."
Animal-rights groups, such as Friends of Animals and their president, Priscilla Feral, oppose hunting these endangered animals and believe these animals should not be living in Texas. Feral goes so far as to claim that it is immoral: "I don't think you create a life to shoot it," she stated. One of her complaints is that the private ranchers make the hunting too easy. Others contend, though, that this is not true. Hunters are not guaranteed a "trophy." And, even if hunting an animal on private ranches is fairly easy, so what? Like the pig farmer, the ranchers have an incentive to ensure animals are hunted at a certain rate. It would not be in their own self-interest to allow too much hunting in a very short period of time. In fact, no more than 10 percent of a herd is hunted each year.
During the 60 Minutes spot, Logan asked Seale if he considered himself a conservationist. He responded that it is the hunters who are the main conservationists. Logan, perhaps revealing her own beliefs or playing devil's advocate, pointed out that just because people are willing to pay large amounts of money to hunt does not make the practice morally right. This is where economic thinking and understanding private property rights comes into play and sheds bright light on this emotional topic.
Logan also interviewed 83-year-old Texan rancher David Bamberger, a man passionate to save the scimitar-horned oryx. He correctly stated, "I'm wise enough, smart enough to know if there's no incentive, if altruism is the only incentive, you're not going to get a great deal of participation."
My former professor Walter Williams was once featured on a John Stossel special. He talked about how beef arrives at the grocery store (a play on Leonard Read's famous essay "I, Pencil"): "If it all depended on human love and kindness, I doubt whether you'd have one cow in New York." He is right — lest you think that the clothes you wear, the electronic devices you use, or your morning cup of Starbucks are the result of someone else loving you. The people who produce these products love themselves — they want to make money. But tangled up with that self-love, they give the rest of us what we want. This principle of self-interest, guided by the invisible hand in an institutional framework of private property, is the best solution for endangered animals.
Consider the symbol of America, the bald eagle, which was once endangered. According to BaldEagleInfo.com,
On June 28, 2007, the Interior Department took the American bald eagle off the Federal List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants. The bald eagle will still be protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The Bald Eagle Protection Act prohibits the take, transport, sale, barter, trade, import and export, and possession of eagles, making it illegal for anyone to collect eagles and eagle parts, nests, or eggs without a permit.
That is all well and good, but perhaps seeing grilled bald eagle on your local Outback menu would be better for the this emblem of our freedom. Individuals would have more of an incentive to protect and breed eagles if it were tied to making a profit.
I have seen bald eagles twice in my life — once in Lake Tahoe and again at Lake Shasta in California. Indeed, the eagle belongs to all of us; and, if I saw someone trying to shoot an eagle for "fun," I might say something to stop the bird from being shot. But I definitely would not die for that eagle! Now, let's assume owning and breeding eagles is legal and someone goes to Texas and tries to shoot Joe Rancher's eagles. You know what would happen? He would shoot back (we ain't in California anymore!). Is this passion for eagles based on the rancher's animal-loving instincts? Of course not. When you shoot at his eagles, you're shooting at his wallet.
Ownership gives you an incentive to take care of that possession, not only now, but also for the future. This is why each year I drive by a Christmas-tree farm off of Highway 101 near San Jose, and every year they have trees. If you want to make someone "act green," give them an incentive to make green (money)! The same principle applies to chickens, cows, and pigs — and also for three endangered antelope species. Dr. Pat Condy, one of the world's leading conservationists, admitted on 60 Minutes that the ranchers are helping. "It's the numbers that are the bottom line," he stated.
Well, the numbers are clear even if people such as Priscilla Feral want to ignore them. Texas ranchers are saving these animals even if saving them is not their primary motivation. In short, the government should just leave them alone.
Feral, however, believes it is both immoral and unnatural for these African animals to live in Texas. But an animal reserve in Africa is an artificial habitat as well. How is it immoral for animals to be humanely raised or hunted for the ultimate purpose of human consumption? Hunting on private ranches provides not only utility to the hunter and jobs for about 14,000 people in the local economy; it is saving the animals more effectively than any government regulation ever could.
Unfortunately, Feral was successful in court and a new rule issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service will make it a crime to hunt three types of antelope without a federal permit. This permit will, of course, be a high barrier to entry. Not surprisingly, the new law has already led to a decline in the value of these animals by more than 50 percent according to Seale. Now that the financial incentive to take care of these animals is gone, their numbers will drop again.
While I'm sure Feral has good intentions and cares about these animals, her ignorance of the economics will lead to the disappearance of the very animals she claims to protect. Dr. Condy summed it up well when he responded to Logan's question, "So who is winning the day here?"
"One thing is for sure: they [the animals] are losing."
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