Calculus

Calculus

PE Bias Grade : B+

By: Allen Nitschelm on August 13, 2019 | Article Review

This is a review of the following Boston Globe Article:
Article Title Rules that help save species weakened
Date 08/13/2019
Article Link Boston Globe ( Page A1 )
Syndicated From N/A
Journalist David Abel
Article Summary

Boston Globe doesn’t like updating federal rules on protecting species.

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Besides the branch of math, calculus is another way of saying calculation. What is wrong with calculating what the costs are of “protecting species” when such factors do “not allow costs to be a factor in determining whether to grant a species protection.”?

Why are we supposed to make choices without cost information? Is this why we keep throwing money at failing schools because it is “for the children” or why we build bridges to nowhere? We cannot be afraid of knowledge and having our leaders and bureaucrats consider cost when making decisions for the public good. People consider costs all the time, and so should the government.

I like nature and plants and animals and our country sets aside millions of acres for wildlife protection. But we have competing interests. Let’s say we are building a highway and the “spotted newt” has a breeding ground. The newt could be common elsewhere, but if it is “threatened” or “endangered” in an area where the highway needs to be built, we need to go around.

What if that “cost” is not just the extra miles of roadway? What if the “cost” includes the millions of tons of carbon released into the atmosphere by the cars going miles out of their way, year after year, decade after decade? Maybe global warming will kill the newts even faster than putting the highway right through their habitat.

There are lots of examples of unintended consequences. Maybe a developer won’t build a low-income housing complex because a wetlands is being encroached. Or maybe some environmentalists use these laws to prevent development that should happen in order to extort developers into funding their initiatives and hiring their consultants.

This article doesn’t get an “A” because it overly emphasizes quotes by detractors of the rule change, many of whom have a vested interest in the outcome (they are committed Leftists and work in the environmental field.) But the grade overall is good because it shows how shallow the Left’s knee-jerk reaction to this is, especially that of our Attorney General who has yet to see a Trump policy she likes.

 

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