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Recycling and rodent preservation

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Michigan is among four states which have asked the federal government to delay listing the long-eared bat as an endangered species. The four states want this so that they can devise logging regulations that would protect the flying rodent but not harm the logging industry, as they believe that federal regulations are too strict and would hurt local loggers.

It would be easy to attack the feds on this issue as being too powerful and lording that power over the states. That is certainly true to a point. Yet the bigger point here seems to be the question of why any government at any level should have any interest in protecting bats.

First and foremost, the human need for wood and wood products far outweighs a natural habitat for any given animal, let alone bats. If it's their going extinct which worries you, consider that species have gone extinct for all of human and world history and we're none the worse off for it. Scare stories about such and such carrying an important gene or that the loss of any given creature would adversely upset the ecosystem are just that: scare stories. They should be ignored.

Have you ever noticed too that there is, oddly enough, a relationship between protecting endangered species and the recycling craze? An awful lot of recycling wouldn't happen without government support, exactly as many species might not survive without it either. But notice that an interesting converse is also true. As things which are worth recycling, iron, copper, aluminum and so forth, generally get recycled without any prompt from a government, so too animals which serve a real human need are helped to survive without government protection. Chickens, cows, and hogs survive because we have use for them as food sources. Horses survive mostly for recreation, a true human need also, as do the many types of pets.

There is no need to worry about what animals to protect; human need will see to it. As to what's left after that, if you want to use your money and keep a habitat for long-eared bats, go for it. But kindly keep your hand out my taxpaying pocket for your, shall we say, pet notions.

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