Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wisconsin takes another step backwards

Black-necked Stilt along a roadside wetland

Early this morning the Republican controlled state Senate passed an anti-wetlands bill that ought to be ethically reprehensible to every birder and nature advocate in Wisconsin. Sadly, this bill will weaken restrictions for developing on wetlands. So the right-wing mantra goes on, we are open for business and [BLEEP] all else.

How short-sighted some of us are by failing to fully consider that our own long-term survivability ultimately depends on the health of the earth, quality of habitat, and fragile ecosystems. Apart from the intrinsic value our wetlands provide to birds and other wildlife, a recent study found that Wisconsin's wetlands are worth billions in services and benefits each year.

More than window and tower collisions, feral cat predation, chemical spills, illegal hunting, poisoning, and most everything else, the primary reason for the decline of bird populations is habitat loss. For admirers of birds, this bill will likely turn out to be an environmentally damaging piece of legislation.

Most prevalent in today's media, conservatives are quick to criticize and denounce government as the underlying problem with just about everything, but there's a reason why Wisconsin has such wonderful natural treasures rich in biodiversity; it's because they've traditionally been protected by our state government (reversing earlier losses as well). I was painfully aware once conservatives gained control of our political processes they would eventually go after the environment; it's endemic to their nature to ignore the needs of Nature.

© 2012 Mike McDowell

Disclaimer: The views, opinions, or positions by the blog author are his alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of Eagle Optics.


  1. This is very frustrating and sad. I hope something can be done quickly to turn this one around.

  2. I thought only Florida, my state, did this crap.

  3. My memory of Wisconsin, as a boy growing up, was of one of the most progressive states in the Midwest... it's a shame what has apparently happened (somehow??) to it.

  4. What bewilders me even more are the number of WI birders who vote Republican and are extreme conservatives. I just don't get it.

  5. If current science and industry are so toxic to the environment, how come the life expectancy in the U S has risen from 35 in 1900 to nearly 80 today?
    How long did Neanderthals live?

  6. Dear Anonymous commenter:

    Here's your position: The life expectancy in the US has risen from 35 in 1900 to nearly 80 today because science and industry is not toxic to the environment.

    Can you not see the fallacious thinking with your comment? The strength of your argument depends on the premise that everything science and industry does is good for our health (or the environment). To refute your argument, I would only have to demonstrate an instance of something rendered by science that wasn’t good for our health (or the environment). Nevertheless, you've committed a logical fallacy.

    The fallacy of Affirming the Consequent (non sequitur) takes the form:

    1. If A is true, then B is true.
    2. B is true.
    3. Therefore, A is true.

    The average US life expectancy was 47 in 1900 (not 35). From this you might conclude that there weren’t a lot of old people around back then. However, the average life expectancy is heavily skewed by childhood deaths and higher infant mortality rates. The U.S. infant mortality rate was approximately 100 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. In 2000, the rate was 6.89 infant deaths per 1,000 live births.

    You have failed to make a cogent counter-argument.

    Mike M.

  7. I can't believe conservatives!! this is total BS.