The Sixth Great Extinction Lie Is Destroying Economy and Culture

The Endangered Species Act is the most powerful law outside the cities, and it based on lies. This week and next I am running three to five minute reads that […]
Published on July 9, 2024

The Endangered Species Act is the most powerful law outside the cities, and it based on lies.

This week and next I am running three to five minute reads that pick apart the reason for the failing economy for the bottom 70%. As Dr. Peter St. Onge says, the bottom 9 rungs on the ladder have been knocked out. These essays describe why, and how, if fixed, the economy will soar. I am taking ten days off the cortisol carousel, because the next six months are going to be busy. And awesome. And pivotal in world history. Back on Saturday, the 14th.

Also this is a farewell to the environmental file. I have written about this in depth for the past 20 years, one book, four in depth policy papers and hundreds upon hundreds of essays. I have been writing for Michael Walsh’s, which attempts to take down the environmental junta, and I found I don’t have much more to say. Will keep up with any more developments. In any case you will be receiving brief essays on various aspects of this heart-breaking mistake over the next ten days. Read them, file them, ignore them. They will be here to read whenever you want. Or to send to your family and friends who don’t understand the threat.


There’s no Sixth Mass Extinction. All those deluded kids vandalizing priceless art and obstructively gluing themselves to pavements are operating on yet another flagrant lie from the leaders of the environmental movement. Every species in the U.S. except the black footed ferret and the California hawk is growing in numbers by leaps and bounds. The Endangered Species Act, generally considered the most powerful law of the land outside the cities, is, however, destroying the human economy, our culture and heritage.

I’d go further. The corruption of this well-meant act has inflicted a psychological paralysis upon us. We cannot go forward, we cannot even stay where we are, we must be driven inch by inch into smaller enclosures, with increasingly limited lives. And it’s all based on lies. Unstoppable lies, fanned by every media over and over again. Fanned by princes and kings. A lie that elevates people like David Attenborough, and makes fools out of their legacy.

The Chevron deference case before the U. S. Supreme Court may shift the landscape. If won, it means that no longer will only the scientists approved by the Department of the Interior give evidence in land and resource-based cases, shutting out contrary opinions. But the damage caused in the last fifty years since Nixon signed Endangered Species Act into existence, is profound and will take decades to turn into reasoned care and then, critically necessary economic progress in the heartland.

Let’s review some facts. The U.S. has listed 1,186 species. There are species and sub-species which are biological terms. And then there are ‘distinct population segments’, which is a congressional definition that allowed functionaries to add hundreds more critters, provoking a tsunami of lawsuits. In fact, most court cases on the ESA are concerned with whether a frog from this river valley is threatened, while its brother, 100 miles away in another ravine, is thriving. The U.S. has designated 250 million acres of critical habitat and 60,000 miles of river habitat. This does not count other set-asides, which probably count for another quarter-million acres.

In fifty years, the EPA has managed to recover 61 species and they have spent hundreds of billions of dollars doing so. A comprehensive report on just one threatened species costs at least $9 billion. In late December an analysis of the work of the department found the following:

Unfortunately, at the half century mark, with the listing of 1,667 threatened or endangered species, there are only 62 officially ‘recovered’ species. Of these, 36—nearing 60%—are not real conservation ‘success stories.’ These ‘recoveries’ are hollow, as they are inaccurate proclamations attributable to an erroneous original determination that the species was endangered or threatened. The ESA’s poor showing is compounded by the fact that for some species that have recovered, the recovery is not primarily or even substantially attributable to the ESA. Of the species currently proposed for delisting on the basis of recovery, at least 5 of 12 appear more likely to owe their improvement to original data error. About 20 of 40 of the downlisted species (lowered from endangered to threatened status) pointed to by USFWS as recovering, appear to primarily owe their improved status to data error as well.

Rob Gordon, one of the few experts on this  fiendish legislation, has published a fifty page report on the Act, its many failures and consequences of that failure. It is a must-read for anyone attempting a business outside of a mega-city, and it will save any prospective entrepreneur a million bucks in legal fees all of which will disappear into the environmental movement’s financial black hole.

Between 1890 and 1920’s species were in fact, depleted across the board, the result of mass industrialization and immigration. The environmental Kuznet’s curve shows as economic prosperity rises, so does the health of the environment. We got richer and where there were once 100 black bears in Massachusetts, there are now 5,000. Yet, the black bear is still on the endangered list, not because it is threatened, but because a so-called “distinct population” segment, the Florida black bear, is not thriving. That said, there are so many black bears out west, that the young males are being driven eastward to prop up the population. The black bear is thriving.

One of the Trump administration’s fixes was to forbid the agency to consider setting aside “potential habitat” as well as “critical habitat.” The Biden administration changed that. Now anything can be considered potential habitat, and thus economic activity must be stopped. It can be on private land, your back garden, the range you lease to graze your cattle. If carbon emissions are added to endangerment characteristics then…. everything is at risk.

Wolves are now, courtesy of faux hysteria, everywhere, and ranchers I know have to leave their bedroom windows open in order to listen for their predations. The Trump administration tried to delist wolves, but no.  Most of the introduced wolves, breeding happily, were from northern Canada, and these wolves did not behave in the way wildlife biologists claimed, which was that they only fed on wildlife. These wolves lost their ancestral patterns, and they happily feed on pets, chickens, lambs and cattle. Wolves eviscerate profits for marginal ranchers every year, which, ranchers believe, is yet another deliberate attack.

The Centre for Biological Diversity, an outfit funded by the most extreme elements both in government and the private sector, is a plague on the rural economy, because its “success” is measured via lawsuits, forcing listings and timetables. Its science is almost always exaggerated, its tone hysterical. The requirements for listing a species are so onerous that the EPA can rarely meet deadlines set by the courts, those deadlines forced by the CBD, which knows the necessary steps the agency must take. When missed, CBD sues, wins and takes the money to sue again. The CBD, roundly hated in rural America, has sued to list the Monarch Butterfly, the habitat of which encompasses pretty much all of North America. If listed, it means that dill weed, the butterfly’s most favored food, has to be privileged over cattle, for whom dill weed is toxic. Cut glyphosate use, and the butterfly will thrive. Cut geoengineering and the butterfly will thrive. But no, ranching must die.

One meets, over and over again, such profitable contradictions built into the ESA. Revolving doors exist between the agency, environmental NGOs, and the Department of Justice; rules are written to profit those NGOs. The cases lock up courts at every level in every state, creating stasis, poverty and addiction, all of which is funded by taxpayers. It must be reformed, root and branch. And the environmental NGOs that feed upon it, must be reformed or be buried under the contempt of the civilized.


Elizabeth Nickson is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. Her studies and commentaries at the Frontier Centre can be accessed here.   Follow her on Substack here.  Her best-selling book Eco-Fascists can be purchased here.



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