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Right now, if you click on this link, you simply get the headline and nothing else. I'm probably not going to get a screen capture of it, so by the time you wake up tomorrow there'll be an entire story there.

But right now, it is simply "Roadless Rules for Forests Set Aside:
USDA Plans to Reverse Clinton Prohibitions"

I do kinda miss Gregg Easterbrook, because he's always good for figuring out a way to spin this as good for the environment.

Perhaps something along the lines of environmentally friendly clear-cutters are helping to prevent massive forest fires by removing all those damn combustable trees, or that asphalt makes a better growing material. Well, you'd know he'd be up to it.

Never mind, I found him. He's written to say Michael Moore hates America. I didn't think people not suffering head injuries actually used that phrase sincerely and seriously.

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rtfirefly
Jul. 13th, 2004 02:57 am (UTC)
Ah yes, Gregg Easterbrook.

First heard of him and his "the environment is really getting better" claptrap shortly after reading David Quammen's excellent The Song of the Dodo back in 1996. Quammen had the stroke of genius of explaining extinction through the lens of evolution, which is propelled by the relationship between the ecological mainland and ecological islands. (For the most part, but not always, the ecological has coincided with the literal.) By showing how we're chopping the world up into increasingly smaller ecological islands, with no mainland at all anymore, he showed how we've not only brought evolution to an effective end, but how we're making the world too small to survive for all large animals that don't coexist well at close quarters with humans. And as the islands become smaller, the smaller the animals that can survive.

In the face of this, Easterbrook's optimism about our cleaner air and water seemed to completely miss the point.

At any rate, that was the good thing about the roadless rule: it preserved some ecological islands, for the few years it lasted. Now we're back to chopping 'em up.

We're the richest country in the world. Of those countries that still have substantial backcountry left, we're the one least economically dependent on our natural resources. If we can't protect our wild spaces, how can we expect anyone else to do it?
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