Friday, March 31, 2006

Marsh Madness

Rejoice, my brethren and cistern, in America's ever-increasing wetlands:

More people building ponds for golf courses and subdivisions or to retain stormwater and wastewater helped create the nation's first net gain in wetlands in a half-century of government record-keeping... Bush administration officials cast the report as evidence that the nation has turned a corner on years of wetlands losses.
That sounds like something they'd do, alright.

This is an exciting new possibility for mitigation banking: we can drain and develop our remaining coastal marshes, build a couple hundred more golf courses above the Ogallala aquifer, and come out ahead!

As you might expect, scientists and environmental groups aren't buying this claim. And hunting advocacy groups don't like it much, either. While the combination of a golf course and canned hunting range might appeal to faux-sportsmen like Dick Cheney, the majority of hunters prefer to pursue their gruesome hobby in actual marshes.

Gale Norton explains why everyone but BushCo (and its dead-eyed apparatchiks) has it wrong:
"A significant amount of the increase has been in ponds," Norton said. "People like having ponds as an amenity. ... Even ponds that are not a high quality of wetlands are better than not having wetlands."
And really, that's what our choice boils down to, doesn't it? It's glorified puddles or nothing for us, because everyone knows that protecting real wetlands destroys the economy and makes the little baby Jesus weep holt salt tears.

If enough people pissed on Gale Norton's grave, would that qualify it as a "wetland"? Some sweet day, I hope to find out.


Xan said...

Count me in for a pint o'pee when the time comes, or possibly even earlier if her leg comes into view. We can tell her it's raining and what's she gonna do about it, cite her expertise in matters hydrological to refute us? :)

Somebody sometime, when the rate of incoming atrocities slows down enough that we can start to catch up, needs to do an indepth study of the activities of the Army Corps of Engineers in recent years. Not that they didn't deserve a good kicking for some of their actions since, oh, their founding, but in the Years of the Current Unpleasantness I've seen them tied into everything from the funding of "interrogators" who wound up at Abu Graihb to punting an opportunity to protect a big chunk of the Civil War battlefield at Fredericksburg.

Not the biggest atrocity we've had to put up with, but still...

Phila said...

Xan, I agree on the ACE. Their activities in Florida, especially, are horrible. I've blogged on 'em a few times, IIRC...but as you say, there's too much to keep track of with these pricks.