Contrary to popular belief, environmentalists aren’t totally unconnected with reality. We realize, for instance, that we can get people up in arms about cute endangered species, but that no one cares if the Keystone XL pipeline is going to affect the American burying beetle. (Even if they are weird and bright orange and the largest beetle on the continent to collect dead birds, roll them up, and bury them next to their underground beetle nests.)
The burying beetles, though, according to the State Department, were the only endangered species that Keystone XL would affect. That didn’t seem quite right to the Center for Biological Diversity, so it took a closer look and found many more species that could be affected by the pipeline. Like oh-so-adorable pallid sturgeon, “a prehistoric fish.” (“This could be the nail in the coffin for the pallid sturgeon,” a CBD director told Politico.)
Oh, and, did we mention adorable, baby northern swift foxes?
As the pipeline is constructed it could hurt these guys, “potentially crushing endangered foxes with young in their dens,” says Politico. Yah. That’s a little bit sadder than the beetles and the pallid sturgeon right? Don’t worry, we won’t tell them you think the fox is cuter.
Get Grist in your inbox