Saturday, September 15, 2007

It's hard being a part of the reality based community

This past week California State Fish and Game Commissioner R. Judd Hanna, was forced out of his position after Governor Schwarzenegger received a letter from 34 Republican legislators demanding his removal due to his understanding and acceptance of the science which has shown the link between condor mortality and the ingestion of lead bullets.

If you need any proof that we need to radically strengthen science education in this country, just take a look at any random group of Republican legislators. I've never heard so much anti-science, anti-intellecual claptrap in my life as I have over the past few years. They revel in their ignorance.

There is currently legislation pending (AB 821) which would ban the use of lead bullets for deer hunting in condor habitat. The science clearly shows the danger to the fragile wild condor population, and now Mr Hanna has been punished for doing his job. He's a fish and game commissioner responsible for protecting endangered species, so he is responsible for learning everything to be learned about the California condor. It would be a dereliction of his assigned duties to do otherwise. His crime? He shared his knowledge with the other commissioners. Apparantly, having sound knowledge and speaking the truth makes you a partisan advocate.

Color me appalled. This doesn't bode well for the essential legislation that is sitting on the Governor's desk. They banned the bullets in Arizona. Why is it a problem is CA? In AZ they even spent money to give copper bullets to hunters so they could see for themselves that they were more than satisfactory.

I do not understand the fears and motivations of the NRA at all. Nobody is going to take their damn guns. Just shut up about that, for god's sake. That's not a credible threat. They sound like a bunch of three year olds clinging to their blankies. This pending law isn't saying they can't hunt. It's saying the bullets are causing harm in the wilderness that they supposedly love so much. The lead doesn't only harm condors, but many other species. Just use the copper bullets, people.

$40 million has been spent to save the condors who were being driven to extinction by lead in the environment. Rescuing this species is within reach. We can see it from here. Now they're in danger once again from the same threat that nearly wiped them out a few short years ago. This legislation will make or break the effort to save the condors. You can call the governor's office at 916-445-2841 and tell them you want him to sign AB 821 (the condor bill). The governor has until October 14 to sign or veto the bill.

For someone who flouts his cred as an environmentalist, Arnold's not much of an environmentalist. If the environment is what he's going to use to boast of his post partisan credibility, he ought to have the cojones to walk the walk, and not demand the resignation of appointees for supporting science and speaking the truth.


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