My assignment, which I chose to accept, is to offer a tangent of positive thoughts about the Bush administration’s environmental record before readers return to the barrage of verbal drubbing that other Grist writers are no doubt serving up.
Rather than pick out nuggets that lie here and there amidst the dross, a fairer approach is to place the 43rd president’s record on a spectrum with two contrasting bookends of monumental accomplishment and disappointing inaction.
The monumental accomplishment took place two weeks before the administration’s expiration. Relying on a precedent established by Theodore Roosevelt and employed by successors from both parties, President Bush invoked the Antiquities Act to establish three marine monuments that protect some 125 million acres of habitat, history, and beauty in America’s Pacific territorial waters.
The Marianas Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Rose Atoll marine national monuments are a treasure of coral reefs, whales, sea turtles, dozens of bird species, hundreds of varieties ... Read more