Is the Endangered Species Act endangered?
Perhaps by now you have heard about CRISPR, the new genetic engineering technology, which, as reported, could be used to correct DNA disorders that affect children and adults, perhaps even create “designer babies,” or even grow human organs inside animals for transplantion into people with incurable diseases.
CRISPR has created a brave new world that medical authorities are scrambling to understand and to devise effective ethical and regulatory structures for.
A related question, so far not addressed or even presented, is the status of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The original purpose of the ESA, which was passed in 1973, when gene technologies like CRISPR were not even on the horizon, was to protect species that were critically imperiled so that their genes could be preserved for posterity. This original purpose appears to be unnecessary now that genetic techniques can modify or even create organisms with any desired characteristics.
As we know, the ESA was hijacked by radical environmentalists to stop business development, destroy industries, and eliminate peoples’ livelihoods and recreational activities. If logging operations imperiled a rare owl, if housing construction impinged on the habitat of an exotic toad, if water projects or oil drilling made life more difficult for a tiny fish, extremists emerged to demand a halt. Trapping, hunting, fishing, and public use of federal and other lands were likewise made verboten. Lawsuits exploiting the ESA’s extreme interpretation became the favorite tools of the left to bring about increased federal control over the West, metastasizing a well-meaning law into lifetime employment for sleazeball enviro-lawyers and a horrific tool for oppression of the American way of life.
Now may be the time to begin pushing back against this radical leftist project to control our lives. Let’s endanger the Endangered Species Act, using new technologies as our weapon, and reduce its shelf life to 43 years, end point 2016.