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Environmental Issues - Essay Example

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Several species of wildlife have been wiped off from the face of this earth in the past couple of decades and several others are being added every passing year. The earth is losing out on its natural elements either due to human activity or inactivity to preserve them…
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Environmental Issues
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Download file to see previous pages The Endangered Species Act (ESA), is one such act, which was passed in the year 1973 with a view to empower the government to protect and preserve the imperiled species and the eco-systems on which they depend (FWS, 2010). However, three decades on, the act still finds itself as highly ineffective – and embroiled in a legal turmoil with two opposing sides i.e. the proponents and opponents of protection of endangered species; clashing head on to propagate their own self-interests. With the environmentalists on one hand and the industrialists and economists on the other, the Act which once witnessed overwhelming support is now caught between two contrasting and conflicting interests. The proponents believe that the act has not been implemented to its full potential and lacks adequate powers to preserve endangered species and hence needs to be strengthened to prevent them from becoming extinct (Rohlf 1991; Houck 1993; Bechtold 1999).
The opponents, on the other hand, argue that the act is repressive and outdated and pose significant threat to the American economy and hence must be abolished (Mann and Plummer 1992; Sugg 1994). While environmentalists claim ‘preservation of ecosystems’ as a wider public interest, its total disregard on its likely impact on industrial growth and development has had a section of public up in arms, to advocate their cause. It is owing to such conflicting interests that this widely debated law has often been referred to as controversial in nature.
The ESA (1973) has been in the center of heated political and legal debates, with two contrasting parties seeking protection of self-interest; strengthening of laws in such a situation, might further increase the legal jeopardy, hence the law should be adequately amended and suitably modified rather than completely abolishing it.
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