For many, the conservation of nature is seen as an essential component of human wellbeing. Its value is oftentimes referred to in relation to the four “Es”: economic, environmental, esthetic and ethical values.
From an economic viewpoint, we know that the entire pharmaceutical industry is built upon known natural substances we find in plants and animals, as are the varieties of many domesticated animals we use for food. On the environmental front, we know how essential it is for human health to have an abundant availability of clean water and air.
Esthetically speaking, natural areas represent one of the major attractions for the American public as evidenced by the huge number of visits (330 millions just last year) to national parks alone. From an ethical perspective, we also know that we, as a generation, have a responsibility for bestowing upon future generations the same clean and diverse environment that we ourselves have enjoyed.
Now all that may change. On July 19, the Trump Administration proposed major changes to the Endangered Species Act. Why is that of vital interest?
Romero, A. 2018. Let’s never forget: Extinction is forever. The Edwardsville Intelligencer 27 August 2018, p. A3.