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The Planet Cannot Stand This Presidency

Posted by Richard Conniff on April 21, 2017

Akikiki

by Richard Conniff/The New York Times

Heroic acts to preserve our national heritage often take place off the battlefield. In the 1890s, for instance, a handful of people, mostly friends of Theodore Roosevelt, stepped forward to protect the American bison as it was about to be butchered into extinction. Likewise, the conservationist Rachel Carson and her followers saved the bald eagle and other species from poisoning by pesticides in the 1960s and ’70s.

We cannot, of course, expect this type of heroism on behalf of wildlife from the Trump administration. On the contrary, the challenge is to figure out which of the many species the administration is gleefully stripping of protection now stands in the most immediate danger. Will the greater sage grouse go extinct as the administration works to unravel a compromise protection plan already agreed on by all parties? Will freshwater mussel species vanish because coal companies are once again free to dump toxic waste in streams?

Among the many species the Trump administration could erase from the annals of life on earth …

Read the full column here, plus an introduction by Bill McKibben, and brief accounts by a half-dozen other writers about species and habitats this administration could destroy.

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