Re: NANFA-- Fwd: Environment down the tubes

Christopher Scharpf (
Sun, 17 Nov 2002 10:13:02 -0400

> Quote of Hansen in the article:
> Right now, in this country, the rights of an endangered fly or a
> species of seaweed take precedence over national security commerce and
> many people's right to the enjoyment of property and the pursuit of
> happiness."
> My reply:
> "I don't know about _YOU_ buddy, but if the flies aren't happy, then I'm
> gonna assume that I shouldn't be happy either. Honestly, does it really
> take that much to please a fly? Maybe a little dead meat? Our world
> must be in worse shape than I had originally thought."

Hansen's quote is intentionally incendiary. Lots of anti-environmentalists
like to mention this fly, without ever explaining what kind of fly it is.
After all, flies eat dog poop and make barbecues intolerable. Well, not this
fly. It's the Dehli sands fly:

It's a nectar-eating fly whose existence is inextricably linked to some
endangered plants. So saving this fly is, in effect, saving an entire
endangered ecosystem.

The fly made headlines a few years back when the ESA delayed the
construction of a San Bernadino hospital over one of the dunes where both
the fly lives. The delay and altering construction plans to build around the
dune and save it cost an extra $4 million. Politicians and
anti-environmentalists were up in arms about that, that a "lowly" fly would
cost so much money. (Some even made the stretch that had the hospital been
built on schedule, it could have saved more lives sooner. Therefore, the
Endangered Species Act is costing human lives!) But is a one-time allotment
of $4 million to much to pay for the conservation of an entire ecosystem,
albeit a small one, with more than one endangered species? (Okay, so maybe
they had to cut some mahogany and marble from the hospital board room. $4
mil is a drop in the bucket on a project that big.)

Chris Scharpf
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