Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mother Jones: the GOP became earth haters in 1991



Bob Beck is Wyoming Public Media's News Director. Not long ago he began an interview with Senator John Bare Asso (earth hater-WY) asking the question: "Senator, why do you hate the environment?"

A Mother Jones piece tells readers when the GOP began hating the Earth:
According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. "The conservative movement replaced the 'Red Scare' with a new 'Green Scare' and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time," argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues. [Chris Mooney, When Did Republicans Start Hating the Environment?]
It took watching ravens walking into the henhouse and stealing eggs to erect a mesh-covered chicken yard.
Raven populations have increased precipitously in the past four decades in sagebrush ecosystems, largely as a result of fragmentation and development of anthropogenic structures. Our study shows that in addition to habitat fragmentation, the addition of human-made structures benefit ravens, whereas some species of raptors like the Ferruginous Hawk have been impacted and limited in nesting areas," said study lead author Peter Coates, an ecologist with the [United States Geologic Survey] Western Ecological Research Center. While this is good news for ravens, it could be bad news for sensitive prey species, including the Greater Sage-Grouse. Increases in Common Raven distribution and abundance in the American west mirror declines in distribution and abundance of Greater Sage-Grouse, where energy transmission corridors and other land use changes have altered sagebrush steppe habitat," said David Delehanty of [Idaho State University]. [Ravens rule Idaho's artificial roost, posted at Science Daily]

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