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The founding fathers believed that governments are instituted among men for the sole purpose of protecting human rights. Theref

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  • The founding fathers believed that governments are instituted among men for the sole purpose of protecting human rights. Theref

    The founding fathers believed that governments are instituted among men for the sole purpose of protecting human rights. Therefore, the ONLY actions the government is permitted to take are ones intended to protect our rights. So, here is my question: Do we have the RIGHT to a healthy environment the same way we have a right to free speech or to bear arms? If so, Is the government failing to protect this right? if not, are we sportsmen prepared to abolish all environmental protections and live with the consequences?

  • #2
    Interesting thoughts Mr. Mcloud. I think we, along with every other living thing on this planet has the right to a healthy environment. I think government needs to step in to protect us from the tragedy of the commons. It's unfortunate but that's how it is. We have a prime example here in North East Wisconsin. For decades paper companies along the Fox river dumped PCB's into the river. Why, because it was cheaper than to properly dispose of the waste and these companies made huge profits at our expense. Now we as tax payers are paying to clean it up and as sportsmen we can't eat the fish that come out of this waterway. Not to mention all the fish, ducks, and other wildlife that has been poisoned because some paper companies wanted to make a bigger profit. When you don't have oversight and regulations this is what happens.

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    • #3
      Yes yes no.

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      • #4
        golfing sportsman-

        EXCELLENT literary reference with "Tragedy of the Commons"!

        This topic has always been a rigorous metal exercise for me because you can't have it both ways.

        Either it is a right, the government is seriously neglecting its duties, and needs to take more action whether we like it or not.

        Or it is not a right, the government has overstepped its bounds, a bunch of laws need to repealed, and we are all doomed to repeat the tragedy of the commons.

        Neither scenario is ideal, but you can't have it both ways, either its a basic right, or its not.

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        • #5
          Ken, I believe it is a basic right for all living things to have clean water and fresh air. I agree very strongly with the Native American sentiment that the world does not belong to us, we are merely borrowing it from our children. And it isn't just our rights we need to be concerned with but theirs also. I want my children and grandchildren to be able to swim in the rivers and lakes, and eat the fish they catch in those rivers and lakes, and drink the water from those rivers and lakes. It's not just our rights that we need to be concerned with but the rights of all those that come after us.

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          • #6
            “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government.”
            -James Madison


            “Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”
            -Theodore Roosevelt


            “We the People are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”
            -Abraham Lincoln


            “I'll rule this country by executive order if Congress won't adopt my agenda.”
            -Bill Clinton, 1998-Jul-4

            “I don't believe you can find any evidence of the fact that I have changed government policy solely because of a contribution.”
            -President Clinton, March 10, 1997

            “The president has kept all of the promises he intended to keep.”
            -Clinton aide George Stephanopolous speaking on “Larry King Live.”

            “How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!”
            -Samuel Adams (1722-1803), letter to John Pitts, January 21, 1776


            What part of history you just don’t understand!

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            • #7
              To have limited government,in scope and size,necessary to regulate,as needed ,to prevent abuse of the environment is warranted as common sense dictates.We can have limited gov. and clean environment---the trouble today is we don't have a limited gov. anymore.The gov. doesn't have a corner on wisedom-we don't need a"nanny state". Excellent comments/ref.---Clay Cooper

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              • #8
                Clay,

                As usual you have succeeded in citing many interesting quotes that bear no clear connection to the issue at hand.

                Perhaps I simply lack the necessary insight to decode your posts.

                Could you please EXPLICITLY state whether or not you believe that we have a right to a healthy environment?

                Or perhaps you disagree that governments are instituted among men in order to protect our rights? In this case I will refer you to the Declaration of Independence:

                "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men"

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                • #9
                  The constitution does not explicitly state a right to a healthy environment. In whose opinion is the environment healthy enough? What is the optimum number of x species in place y? What should be the penalty if the optimum is not met and who should pay it? What time period do we need to measure in?

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                  • #10

                    Labrador -

                    All great points.

                    I'm not saying that I have the answer to them. Though for what its worth I would define healthy ecosystem as one that functions the way it did before we mucked it up.

                    I'm not even saying that its a right, I'm posing the question.

                    Though, should rights really be decided on the basis of how easy they would be to protect?

                    There are similar problems with all rights. Who decides what's free speech and what's obscenity? Who decides what's searches and seizures are justified?

                    For better or for worse, under our system the answer is mostly judges.

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                    • #11
                      Ken

                      Who's we? Native Americans had a tremendous effect on the North American environment. The recovery of beaver numbers is having a real impact in my neck of the woods. Watching a beaver pond go from brook trout filled to large mouth bass over time,decades, is a lesson in humility. When a dam on a big pond goes it can wash out roads, scour the creek and redistribute fish species for miles.

                      Who's at fault? Is the man who owns the property the beaver builds the dam on responsible for the bridge repair? Is it an act of God or nature? Every species interacts with every other species. Beavers deny habitat to one species and bring habitat to another. Which habitat deserves to be maintained? Who's we? Are beavers we? Are native americans we? Is it only we who are alive now who qualify as we?

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                      • #12
                        I have to agree labrador12. What will be our gauge?
                        I will cite one example in which the government has set a standard for tolerance with no historical record of basis. This standard has influenced communities across the country under enforcement of the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) guidelines. That standard is for coliform bacteria levels in streams. I have done routine sampling in wilderness streams with no agricultural or human influence and found levels on a routine basis 5 times over the level of the EPA standard. When asked about the basis of the standard, EPA officials reported that it was arbitrarily made up!

                        Coliform bacteria come largely from the gut of warm blooded animals and are transferred to streams in the form of fecal material. In my area alone three historical species woodland bison, Eastern Elk and passenger pigeon would have added greatly to stream born coliform levels. It is stated that hundreds of thousands of passenger pigeons would have roosted over creek and river bottoms in one flock alone! Add to this the indigenous human population of pre-Columbian times that made their homes on the stream banks and I could imagine streams rife with coliform bacteria. If historical riparian mammal populations such as those of the afore mentioned beaver are added I suspect the EPA would be astounded ….

                        While I do not approve of sewage and industrial waste being pumped into streams, we must be careful in what we ask the government to protect us from. The protective might be worse than the problem.

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                        • #13
                          My closing sentence should read: The protective legislation might be worse than the problem.

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                          • #14
                            So since the lines are fuzzy and there is no way to gauge it exactly we should just do nothing, let it go, and not worry about it?

                            To compare the overall effect that Native Americans and beavers have on the environment to what "we" have done is a bit of a stretch.

                            Beavers build dams and make more wetlands and ruin a stream or two, "we" drain every wetland we can get our hands on and build a stripmall, and we dump all kinds of crap in all kinds of waterways.

                            Native Americans killed what game they needed and used every last bit of what they killed, and they tilled up some land to grow crops. "We" came and practically wiped out the Bison leaving thousands of skinned carcasses lying around, and we have giant factory farms that displace an unbelievable amount of habitat.

                            Not much of a comparison, huh?

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                            • #15

                              Labrador and beekeeper-

                              I wholeheartedly agree with you that there are many bs regulations, and that drafting good bills in the age of the lobbyist is incredibly difficult.

                              However, isn't the difficulty in protecting a right a separate issue from whether or not something is a right?

                              Think of where we'd be if at the start of the civil rights movement the country had said "ya know, desegrating schools is going to be really hard, and messy, and is going to require some big government regulation, so, we'd better not move ahead with this whole civil rights thing"

                              (I am not saying that this is as clear cut as civil rights, just using that as an example to show that whether or not something is difficult is a separate issue from whether or not it is justified)

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