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In The Name of Security

I wouldn’t consider myself a tree hugger or an eco-radical but this seems like one more good reason to not build the border fence.

Wildlife researchers in Southern Arizona are concerned that the high-tech fence the anti-immigration crowd wants to build along the border with Mexico will cause major disruptions to the ecology of the region.

While many who’ve never visited the Sonoran Desert believe it’s just one vast expanse of nothing, in reality this region “includes some of the world’s most diverse terrain”.

However, as is usual with these issues of man vs. nature, our president has a response to the issue: tough luck, nature!

Earlier this month, however, the Bush administration waived more than 30 environmental and land-management laws to meet its deadline for building at least 360 miles of the border fence. Two advocacy groups, the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife, have gone to court to challenge the constitutionality of the authority that Congress gave the administration to set aside federally required environmental reviews.

Amy Kudwa, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, said that despite the waivers, the agency has prepared draft environmental assessments or impact statements for much of the fence — which will be composed of metal, concrete or wire along different stretches — and that officials will continue to explore ways to mitigate its effect on vulnerable wildlife.

“Just because we’re using this waiver authority doesn’t mean we’ve not been mindful of our obligation to be stewards of the environment,” she said in an interview. “For a number of miles, we’ve determined that it would have only insignificant impact.”

Why do we have environmental and land-management laws if the people running this government can just waive them?

Does anyone believe a member of this administration who says they are “mindful of our obligation” to anything?

Or are those just stupid questions?

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1 Comment

  1. Dave

    Guerrilla attacks against US troops have made it an undeniable point that people will adapt in order to meet their goals. It’s frustrating that this administration and politics in general doesn’t seem to target the psychology of these situations — to have an effect, we need to look at why people do what they do.

    I wish I knew more about Mexico and how it compares to the history of the US. Does Mexico have an extensive interstate highway system? Would it be productive for them to spend government money to build one? Would things that helped improve the US help Mexico?

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