Species shortsightedness

 

Sarah Jane Keller’s speculation on what the Endangered Species Act could do for animals facing climate pressure reveals a maddeningly narrow scope of political will among lawmakers and judges (“A new climate for wolverine protection,” HCN, 8/4/14). If science can give us projections of future threats to species — and it can — why wouldn’t we do our best to prevent those threats now, before intervention is futile? Does the law only command us to deal with single-species, present-time crises? Or could it also help us act with foresight and in response to whole communities? We’re overdue for that, certainly in terms of global warming.

Leveraging the act to respond to at least some of the multi-faceted contributions to climate change would not be stepping out of the law’s domain, but updating it to the present.

Andrea del Moral
Oakland, California

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