Wednesday, March 10, 2010

You've Had a Good Run, Panda

Panda bears sure are cute. And it is a good thing they are, because they are living on borrowed time. In the animal world of the survival of the fittest, they are simply not fit. The females can only mate during a 2-3 day window once each year and will probably only have 7 cubs at most in her lifetime. Their bamboo diet is so low in nutritional value, they are left with little energy, and it is a wonder they survive at all. Loss of their habitat to humans and the dwindling supply of bamboo are the main threats to pandas. However, they do not have the ability to adapt to these changing conditions, and pandas are quickly headed to extinction.

Pandas are the poster child (animal) for the WWF (World Wildlife Fund). Unfortunately, this also makes them the poster child for money that could be better spent. The WWF receives millions in American taxpayer money each year. And they spend millions on saving the panda.  Environmentalist Christopher Packham has come out publicly stating that the efforts to save the panda are futile, as the issue of their diminishing habitat is not being adequately addressed. We are, at great cost, keeping them alive in captivity, but the efforts at keeping them alive in their natural habitat is doomed. Packham has said that the money spent on the panda would be put to much better use on other animals. He further states that the panda was not meant to survive according to Darwinian evolution and has said that: "Here is a species that, of its own accord, has gone down an evolutionary cul-de-sac. It's not a strong species." With so many staunch darwinists out there, I am actually surprised more people have not come out against pouring millions of dollars into saving the panda.

The WWF is a worldwide organization that America gives money to.  We also have the Endangered Species Act.  C.J. Carnacchio has said that this act "...represents one of the most irresponsible pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress. The law basically gives the government the authority to stop extinction in all cases, regardless of the cost, by any means necessary. Not every species can or should be protected. Do we really need to save every allegedly endangered insect out there? Many creatures on the endangered species list are not really endangered or even a scientifically defined species at all. Yet, we spend roughly $2.6 million a year for each creature on the list."

The Endangered Species Act has also been used to take property rights away from owners in order to save whichever species it wants to. As of March 10, 2010, the United States has 574 animals listed as endangered or threatened, and when you include plants, that number goes up to 1,323. Yes, you read that correctly, we are also trying to save plants. Property owners beware, your rights to use your property may at any time be subject to the rights of 1,323 different plants and animals. And the right to develop property has been taken away from owners in order to preserve the habitat for any number of even animals unknown to the average American. It is essentially a tool for those of the environmental religion to control property rights and violate the Fifth Amendment. Property has even been confiscated.

Now I do not want panda bears to die out.  I think they are adorable and enjoy seeing them.  I likewise do not have a death wish for any of the 574 animals listed as threatened or endangered.  However, like most of my tax dollar decisions that the government makes, the panda is not something I would choose to spend my money on.  As you know, I am not a conservationist, and I am not opposed to saving pandas in order to spend the money on other animals, I just use common sense to see that millions of dollars spent each year on keeping the panda alive would be better spent elsewhere.

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