Wild horses and the goals of nature protection

A petition to list wild horses as endangered or threatened highlights questions about what our conservation laws should protect

  Friends of Animals and The Cloud Foundation have filed a petition seeking listing of the wild horse in the American west as an endangered or threatened species. Given that, according to the petition itself, there are currently some 34,000 wild horses on public lands in the west (with other estimates closer to 50,000), listing …


Whose Nature? God, the GOP, and Everyone Else

Some Americans say they don’t believe in climate change because they believe in God – or, more exactly, because of what they believe about God.  A few weeks ago, the New York Times quoted some Indiana Tea Party activists who explained that, because the world was created for human use and benefit, using its mineral …


The lasting legacy of DDT

Picking up on Dan’s theme that “it ain’t over till it’s over,” sometimes that’s a good thing, as with the prospects for U.S. climate change legislation, but sometimes it’s a bad thing. An example comes from the journal Nature, which recently carried a news story about DDT (subscription required). DDT, once widely used as an …


“Nature,” not nature, makes us happier

Yale professor of psychology Paul Bloom published an essay this week in the New York Times Magazine arguing that the pleasure that “real natural habitats” provide to humans is a significant argument for “preservation” of these habitats.  The essay was deeply unsatisfying to me, as it avoided all the hard questions that anyone grappling with the …