December 28, 2013

"This is the environmental awakening. It marks a new sensitivity of the American spirit and a new maturity of American public life."

So wrote Richard M. Nixon in his "Special Message to the Congress Outlining the 1972 Environmental Program" (February 8, 1972):
From the very first, the American spirit has been one of self-reliance and confident action.... What has dawned dramatically upon us in recent years, though, is a new recognition that to a significant extent man commands as well the very destiny of this planet where he lives, and the destiny of all life upon it. We have even begun to see that these destinies are not many and separate at all -- that in fact they are indivisibly one....

It is working a revolution in values, as commitment to responsible partnership with nature replaces cavalier assumptions that we can play God with our surroundings and survive. It is leading to broad reforms in action, as individuals, corporations, government, and civic groups mobilize to conserve resources, to control pollution, to anticipate and prevent emerging environmental problems, to manage the land more wisely, and to preserve wildness....
Among the many subheadings of this document is "ENDANGERED SPECIES":
I propose legislation to provide for early identification and protection of endangered species. My new proposal would make the taking of endangered species a Federal offense for the first time, and would permit protective measures to be undertaken before a species is so depleted that regeneration is difficult or impossible.
And it was on December 28, 1973 — 40 years ago today — that President Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law.

35 comments:

Dan said...

Now Obama is going to try and eliminate sporting events in our National Parks: http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2013/12/all-sporting-events-in-national-parks.html
Like most Federal programs, it the idea of protecting different animals, fish and other critters had good intentions, it also was abused by environmentalists with an agenda. It has harmed businesses and people when it has been abused.

Oso Negro said...

That's right folks, Richard Milhous Nixon in action, right there. But he spied on the Democrats, prevaricated about it, was hounded from office and demonized.

Oso Negro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SGT Ted said...

"This is the environmental awakening. It marks a new sensitivity of the American spirit and a new maturity of American public life."

Turns out that was bullshit too. It is just another vehicle for neo-Commies and cultural Marxists to accrue ever more power to a centralized Government, to be used to erode private property rights and attack private businesses, public communities and individuals economically.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

It was another ham-handed attempt to build a perfect heaven on earth, on the ultra-liberal principle that the government would use its muscle to achieve it, and property owners (5th Amendment be damned) would pay the costs.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

But he spied on the Democrats, prevaricated about it, was hounded from office and demonized.

Obama spies on everybody, so that's OK. And he prevaricates about doctors and insurance to avoid being un-elected. That's OK too?

campy said...

And he prevaricates about doctors and insurance to avoid being un-elected. That's OK too?

Not just OK; it's AWESOME!!!

betamax3000 said...

I Would Like to See the Endangered Species Ranked in Order of Tastiness.

Unknown said...

Richard Nixon was quite liberal in many ways. Robert Meyer, the original chief actuary of the Social Security Administration, once told me that resigned in protest over Nixon's liberal policies, many of them coming from Robert Finch, Nixon's Secretary of HEW.

traditionalguy said...

Warning: Nixon was an old white man from California.

somefeller said...

It is just another vehicle for neo-Commies and cultural Marxists to accrue ever more power to a centralized Government, to be used to erode private property rights and attack private businesses, public communities and individuals economically.

Babble babble, sputter sputter, Alinsky Gramsci and will someone wipe this foam from my mustache?

Anyway, as the saying goes, Nixon's the One!

Scott said...

Nixon was a liberal unencumbered by ideology.

EDH said...

Did more species go extinct before the advent of modern civilization, or after?

Scott said...

Woodrow Wilson
Franklin Roosevelt
Richard Nixon
Barack Obama

Scott said...

Anyone growing up in the '60s and '70s is familiar with the word "ecology" and its association with environmentalism. I think environmentalists abandoned the word in later years because ecological science is about learning how things relate and interact with each other. And that smacks of laissez-faire values. Environmentalists are more about controlling things than understanding them.

Gahrie said...

Nixon as president would be considered quite liberal by today's standards. He was much more liberal as president than his earlier history would have predicted.

khesanh0802 said...

Don't forget that USFWS now wants to permit the slaughter of once-endangered species by windmill. You could be next!

virgil xenophon said...

I would argue that much of Nixon's domestic "liberalism" on domestic issues was a sop--appeasement, actually--to the radical left in Congress as a trade-off to keep them from gutting the defense budget at the height of the Cold War when the SU was building ICBMs and everything else from tanks to bombers to submarines like sausages and had actually moved slightly ahead of us in total number of warheads and throw-weight. Read CNO Admiral Zumwalt's memoirs wherein he outlines his conversations with Nixon to this effect.

PB Reader said...

God, if only democrats were in danger of becoming extinct, but they do seem to keep breeding and infecting others.

Of course, if homosexuality is genetic, I don't see how it wasn't selected out of the gene pool long ago.

virgil xenophon said...

Following on with the logic of my point, Nixon's opinion was that if we lost the Cold War, it wouldn't really matter what our policies were on the environment, welfare, etc., were--everything would be lost, so the FIRST priority was defense, it would do no good to win domestic victories if it caused the left, in a fit of pique (which they are perfectly capable of doing) gutted the defense budget in retaliation and as a result we lost everything, our very existence as a free people by having to submit to Soviet restraints or risk a war with a vastly superior force that we would lose to even as we senselessly killed tens of millions of our citizens in a hopeless cause.

jr565 said...

I'm all for environmentalism, but not Environmentalism. One is a natural desire to live in a world that doesn't kill me with pollutants. The other is a lefty movement that is really about spreading socialism and indoctrinating kids to be little pricks who grow up to be sanctimonious jerks.
In environtmentalism, we may not get a perfectly clean world, but then again it was never that clean to begin with. And I'm not going to give up air conditioning, heating, ipad's, the internet to go back to an existence that societies spent their vast resources trying to dig their way out of.
Look at any town that's been hit with a hurricane where all the power is out and that's where Environmentalism wants us to go. And we usually have to send in the resources there to rescue people because they have no power and running water.

Chuck said...

When the enviros finally decide between wind turbines and "endangered" birds and bats, have them get back to us. I just need to know which route is more politically correct.

m stone said...

Scott: Anyone growing up in the '60s and '70s is familiar with the word "ecology" and its association with environmentalism

I remember that and ecology was more about personal behavior and responsibility and lifestyle. It was a purer science than what government-dictated environmentalism is today, essentially control.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

We'll always have Richard Nixon to kick around.

Hagar said...

If Jerry Voorhis had been a Republican, Richard Nixon would have become a Democrat.

Sorun said...

I remember the early 70s. Smog, polluted rivers, litter everywhere, megafauna vanishing.

FleetUSA said...

And today I learned that buzzards are on the endangered list. They seem to be like vermin around here.

Kirk Parker said...


"Warning: Nixon was an old white man from California. "

Talk about an endangered species!

n.n said...

The difference between right and wrong is measured in degrees. Nixon was right about responsible stewardship of the environment. His fatal flaw, if it could be described that way, was unwavering loyalty, which ultimately cost him his position.

Roger Sweeny said...

"It is working a revolution in values"

Charles Reich's Greening of America, with its Consciousness I and Consciousness II, had been published in 1970. Paperback in June, 1971. Nixon was always trying to catch the zeitgeist.

Mountain Maven said...

We were naive about the consequences of this law, like all do-gooder legislation, the left twisted it into a costly and litigious disaster

SGT Ted said...

The central premises of the ecology movement is sound; control pollution to mitigate or avoid large scale environmental damage.

That premise is used as a pretext to assert and enact totalitarian solutions that don't solve environmental problems.

The global warming scam is a good example of this. Regulating carbon emissions via cap and trade would do nothing to solve global warming or "climate change", but it sure would give Governments a lot of power to further regulate businesses. And collect money.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Don't forget that USFWS now wants to permit the slaughter of once-endangered species by windmill. You could be next!

USFWS is part of the Executive branch of government. Its reigning Pope is one B.H. Obama. His form of papal indulgences for his cronies and bureaucrats is called the 'waiver', which is now to be applied to all the spinning bird-killers which his myopic enviro policies have subsidized wherever the wind blows.

n.n said...

Mountain Maven:

They twisted it into a profitable and opportunistic success, which bears little resemblance to the original intent.

Mitch H. said...

No wonder his contemporaries labeled Nixon a fascist. I halfway expected that excerpt to end in a chorus of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me". Didn't the professor mention something about the tree-swastika plantations they keep finding on remote hillsides across Southern Germany and Austria? Statists generally love the environment in abstract, especially nationalist-statists. The internationalist statists were notable in not really giving that much of a damn, but there was always something butch and dieselpunk about the Old Left. They seemed to almost revel in pollution and filth. The various factions of the New Left, having left the mechanized proletariat behind for designated minorities, women, the "peasantry", "outlaws" or "outsiders", and so forth, were more open to the environmental posturings of the fascist heretics of previous generations.

And certain members of the New Left, most wary of betrayals from their client-classes (having been miserably burned by the continued, stubborn refusal of the American proletariat to fall in line with the planned dictatorship in their name), jumped at the prospect of a dictatorship in favor of a class consisting of no-one, of an abstraction so insensate that it had no actual members. The Dictatorship of the Environment would never be betrayed by false class consciousness!