Smart Ideas: Da Bears

Plus: How much longer do we have on climate change?

AP photo/Tom Mangelsen
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April 23, 2019, 8 p.m.

Endangered Species Act too expansive

Cody J. Wisniewski, writing for RealClearPolitics

The Endangered Species Act has gone far beyond its initial intention, allowing “the federal government to lock up large swaths of federal and private lands—often removing them from any recreational or productive use” and maintaining management of species whose populations have recovered. An instructive example is the Yellowstone grizzly. Activists have twice successfully sued the Fish and Wildlife Service, ordering it to go back and study the effects delisting Yellowstone grizzlies had on both other grizzly populations and "the effect of the decline of whitebark pine" on the animals, despite the Yellowstone grizzly “meeting its population goals for nearly 20 years.”

A conservative argument for ending student loans

Kevin D. Williamson, writing for National Review

The federal government should stop issuing loans and should keep banks from lending for educational purposes, at least without requiring the student to meet the same standards that would be applied were they seeking any other kind of credit. The change would likely drive down the price of a college education. Right now, we “make a few gazillion dollars available to finance tuition payments with underwriting standards a little bit lower than those of the average pawn shop, [creating] a lot of potential tuition inflation. Another way of saying this is that if Uncle Stupid puts a trillion bucks on the table, there are enough smart people at Harvard to figure out a way to pick it up."

Climate change won’t destroy the planet in 12 years

Myles Allen, writing for Slate

Those who say we have 12 years to prevent a climate crisis are wrong. In fact, "we have to act now, and even if we do, success is not guaranteed." Climate change does not have the same impact on everyone; some are already experiencing crisis, while for most, even if current trends continue, conditions in 2030 likely won't "feel like Armageddon." To reduce carbon emissions enough to keep temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius requires working aggressively now and continuing to do so long after 2030. “Climate change is not so much an emergency as a festering injustice. Your ancestors did not end slavery by declaring an emergency and dreaming up artificial boundaries on 'tolerable' slave numbers. They called it out for what it was: a spectacularly profitable industry, the basis of much prosperity at the time, something founded on a fundamental injustice. It’s time to do the same on climate change.”

A climate protest in London on April 23 AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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