Save the Critters
Waste dumps can be cleaned up. Most air pollution stops as soon as emissions are stopped. Forests can be replanted. Strip mines can be filled back in. But when a species is killed off it’s gone! Emergency measures are justified when it comes to saving species.
Oh sure, given millions of years some new species may evolve to replace the old ones – or the Creator could opt to make new ones if evolution turns out to be the wrong theory. But for the foreseeable future in human terms, gone is gone.
We may not need all the species that are currently threatened, but our descendents will likely want all of them. If economic liberty prevails, the world will become astoundingly rich by today’s standards. At that point the value of all species will exceed the cost of preservation by a wide margin, even for critters and plants that are mere curiosities with no other utility. Our descendents may want a wide palette of habitats to choose from for their luxury space colonies. Earth as an entire planet may become a park one day.
When we destroy an entire species, we rob from our descendents. Our descendents will curse our wastefulness.
Some of you in the audience may doubt my rosy sci-fi projections. You may believe as Reagan’s interior secretary James Watt believed: that the end is coming soon so we don’t have to think of future generations. While this may be the case, do you want to be on the record as being a bad steward of the planet you are renting? The Bible says we are sojourners on this planet without full title to the land [Leviticus 25]. You do not have to be a neo-pagan earth mother worshipper to have a religious concern for environmental preservation.
Alas, the arguments above are not compelling to everyone. Despite a truly massive education/propaganda campaign on the part of the environmental movement, there are many who balk at the cost of preserving niche plants and critters which have no apparent utility for mankind. And this is true even in the U.S. which is very wealthy. In poorer countries, where the cost of species preservation can mean going without dinner, preservation can be a harder sell.
Thus, even if you are a hardcore tree-hugger willing to pay any price to preserve nature, it behooves you to apply holistic politics and heed the concerns of those focused on freedom and prosperity. Reduce the cost of species preservation and you will make more “sales.”