Monday, January 5, 2009

Bush Bypasses Cheney To Make Grab at Green Legacy


The Mariana Trench is to be made a National Marine Monument

Briefly front page news on NYTimes.com.
The Guardian corroborates their story.
Even Science backs them up.

On his way out the door, Bush has actually done something that the media seems to be accepting at face value. He has designated an area "195,280 square miles, an area larger than the states of Washington and Oregon combined" protected as National marine monuments by way of the federal Antiquities Act. Environmentalists are ecstatic. Commercial fishing is blocked. Scientific research is encouraged and from all reports, limited US military activity will be allowed but will not pose much danger to the area.

Of course this is great news. I'll be honest, though. I don't trust the goodness. Not from Bush. I'm all for the benefits to the wildlife and the underwater mountain ranges. But, there's got to be a limitation in there that will show itself in the form of some profiteer's disregard for life. 

A couple of things I'll be keeping my eye on:

"only the waters between the ocean floor and the rim of the Mariana Trench will be protected - not those rising from the rim to the surface of the water" 

and "mining and energy exploration within the protected areas" will go on.

2 comments:

B.E. Earl said...

This might be a stupid question, but is that part of the ocean floor in the Pacific part of our country? How can we declare it a "National" marine monument? I don't get.

(S)wine said...

The NY Times article cites this area as "American-controlled." Like you, B.E. I don't trust this. We'll see.