The ESA was signed in 1973 by a conservative, pro-business, anti-regulation president, Richard M. It had been championed by several of Nixon’s senior staff, including his chief domestic advisor, John Ehrlichman—the Eagle Scout, outdoorsman, and avid bird watcher who would later serve prison time for his role in the Watergate cover-up.
The ESA would be the last of the great environmental achievements of the Nixon Administration.
First, available resources are constrained to remain tiny with respect to the overall need.
Second, accurate data are available for all the variables feeding the algorithm.
They propose that resource allocations would result in more successes if they followed objectively derived algorithms incorporating variables such as projected cost of recovery, likelihood of success, degree of threat, and value of the conservation target.
Endangered Animals Essay
At least three crucial assumptions underlying the algorithm-and-triage approach to endangered species management stand out as especially dubious.
While his primary attention centered on managing human population growth, his prescient essay also alluded to resource-management examples that remain even more relevant today.
Open-ocean fisheries are being depleted at an accelerating pace.
Exactly 50 years ago, University of California, Santa Barbara, ecologist Garrett Hardin popularized a crucial dilemma about how society manages shared resources.
In a philosophical essay entitled “The Tragedy of the Commons,” published in the journal , Hardin’s now-famous paradigm imagined the example of a pastoral community where individuals graze their privately owned livestock on the public “commons.” Each owner can gain income by adding to the size of his herd, but ultimately this causes the entire commons to degrade and collapse from overgrazing. This conceptual dilemma applies generally to any resource-based system in which individuals acting selfishly can destroy the common good for everyone, by depleting or ruining the shared resource on which the whole community depends.