Feedbacks between human activities (red area) and legal boundaries (yellow bands) relative to planetary boundaries (Earth). Graphic: Chapron, et al., 2017 / Nature Ecology and Evolution

By Bill Laurance
30 May 2017

(The Conversation) – As President Donald Trump mulls over whether to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, it is hard to imagine that he’s listening to the experts.

US climate researchers are being so stifled, ignored or blackballed that France has now offered sanctuary to these misunderstood souls.

One might prefer to think of Trump as an outlier in an otherwise environmentally sane world. But alarmingly, there’s just too much evidence to the contrary.

A recent analysis, led by Guillaume Chapron of Sweden’s Agricultural University, reveals a rising tide of assaults on environmental safeguards worldwide. If nothing else, it illustrates the sheer range and creativity of tactics used by those who seek to profit at the expense of nature.

The assaults on environmental protections are so diverse that Chapron and his colleagues had to devise a new “taxonomy” to categorise them all. They have even set up a public database to track these efforts, giving us a laundry list of environmental rollbacks from around the world.

One might perhaps hope that species staring extinction in the face would be afforded special protection. Not in the western US states of Idaho and Montana, where endangered gray wolves have been taken off the endangered species list, meaning they can be shot if they stray outside designated wilderness or management areas.

In Western Australia, an endangered species can be legally driven to extinction if the state’s environment minister orders it and parliament approves.

Think diverse ecosystems are important? In Canada, not so much. There, native fish species with no economic, recreational or indigenous value don’t get any legal protection from harm. [more]

Around the world, environmental laws are under attack in all sorts of ways


  1. Dennis Mitchell said...

    Idaho took them off the list because they were a success. We have plenty of wolves and bald eagles. Our problem is we have too many people. Too many people with too large a footprint. So if Trump starts a massive war and leads us into a depression he can claim to be an environmentalist.


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