Forces of extinction march on

July 15, 1999

Here is an excerpt of an editorial from the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, which was published Monday.

THE BALD eagle's impending exit from the protected species list is surely something to celebrate, not least for the symbolism of the achievement. But let there be no mistaking the rarity of this victory over the forces of extinction, or the enormity of loss to which it makes exception.

Contemporary climate change linked to greenhouse gas emissions is already showing dramatic harm to corals and some other coastal plants and birds. But this remains a minor, if alarming, factor compared with such familiar contributors as habitat destruction (for agricultural, commercial and water development) and pollution.

Considered in this context, the salvation of the bald eagle or any single species is rather a small accomplishment -- unless it moves a certain other species, namely, Homo sapiens, to see the promise, as well as the necessity, in reforming these exterminating practices.

Pub Date: 7/15/99

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