HOT TOPICS ▶ Climate Change     Undoing The New Deal     The Real Baltimore     Reality Asserts Itself     United Kingdom    

  May 22, 2017

So Goes Nature So Goes Us

Leading conservationist, Jamie Rappaport Clark speaks about the dangerous levels of species extinction and deforestation
Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here


Share to Facebook Share to Twitter

I support The Real News Network because it cured my vertigo from all the spinning by Fox and MSNBC. - David Pear
Log in and tell us why you support TRNN


KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: [inaudible 00:00:04] that they need to protect, and it takes all of us to protect it.

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: [inaudible 00:00:12] to start with an understanding of how things actually are.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: Then, can you talk about some of the roll-back on regulations and how it's going to impact wildlife in the United States?

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: Rolling back the regulations and the laws - like the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act - will unravel what this country has been built on, because it's the back-stop. It's the back-stop to prevent extinction. Without the Clean Water Act we won't have clean water. Without the Endangered Species Act we will be documenting extinction in this country. These laws were put there because so goes nature, so goes us. So there's an absolute direct connection between the bedrock environmental laws of our country and the importance of our own survival.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: Also, in terms of the Bureau of Land Management lifting the moratorium on coal-mining and the other [inaudible 00:01:24], can you talk about the legacy and importance of these nature places for ... ?

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: Right. Well, the National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges, the National Forest, are all lands that are important to us as Americans. They are places we recreate. They are open spaces for wildlife. They are the head waters of our rovers and where our clean water comes from, but they're safe havens for wildlife. Without these special public lands, owned by all of us as Americans, we will doom ourselves to concrete, to watching our resources evaporate, and the importance of land ... I mean, it hardly matters what you do for wildlife if you don't take care of the habitat. But we as humans depend on open space and clean air, and these lands give us all of that and more.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: They're even saying there's an impact on, not just physical health, but mental health and climate change, and maybe this loss of nature [crosstalk 00:02:32].

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: Absolutely, mental health. People, particularly those of us that live in cities, need these places to get away, to kind of rekindle, to energize and to have a sense of rebirth or re-energizing. These lands are so important to all of us as Americans to recreate and rekindle our energy. But when it comes to climate change, these National Forests, these refuges are absolutely important to managing the increasing temperatures and the increasing greenhouse gas emissions. If we keep cutting down all the trees or plowing up all the ground, we are going to exacerbate the already very scary impacts of climate change.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: Where are we at, in terms of a stock-taking of species loss in the US, and maybe globally? Also, deforestation, and I guess there's the oceans, but just in terms of species loss, extinction rates - where would you say we're at, if you could give an equation?

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: When it comes to species extinction, we are at a very dangerous moment in history. We're in the middle of the sixth mass extinction, which is absolutely human-caused. We do go through waves of extinction in geologic times, but this one is far more severe, far more rapid and far deeper than anything ever recorded in history.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: In terms of deforestation, where are we at?

JAMIE RAPPAPORT-CLARK: Deforestation? We are losing football fields every few minutes. Whether it's in the Amazon, whether it's in the New England area of the Untied States. We are turning our forests into flat-lands. These are finite resources. They do renew themselves, but it takes time and we are chopping down our forests far faster than they can renew themselves. Very dangerous.

KATHLEEN MAITLAND-CARTER: Then back to today and science, what does it mean to, again, roll back regulations and disregard what scientists are saying? I'm trying to find a question here ...

JAMIE RAPPAPORT CLARK: Well, it's comprehensible. It's disrespectful, it's selfish, it is denying the truth. And by denying the truth or pretending like science doesn't matter or ignoring unequivocal science truth - whether it's climate or species extinction - it is turning your back on all of us as humans, because so goes nature, so goes us. If we don't accept and we don't listen to what science is telling us, we are only going to suffer the consequences ourselves.


Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at

latest stories

Bernie Sanders - Medicare for All National Town Hall
Will Trump Really Challenge World Economic Forum's Neoliberal Agenda?
Trial Reveals Widespread Corruption in Baltimore Police Department
Turkish Attack on Kurds Opens New Front, and Alignments, in Syrian War
Inside the Trump Administration's War on UNRWA and Palestinian Refugees
Pence Speech Fuels Conflict Between Israel and Palestine
Congressman Ro Khanna challenges US interventionism and wars in Yemen, Syria, Libya
Activists Push For Water Affordability In Baltimore
TRNN Replay: Will Honduras Get New Presidential Elections?
Community Members Sound Off On Troubled Baltimore School System
Despite School Closings, Chicago Mayor Pushes For New $95 Million Police Academy
Apple: The Biggest Tax Cheaters in History Repatriate Profits Under Trump's Tax Bill
Women March in Defiance of Trump
Cape Town Water Wars: A Literal Shitstorm
Massive Oil Spill in East China Sea Is the Size of Paris
Rather Than Address Crime, Baltimore Officials Try to Relocate It
TRNN Replay: Reality Asserts Itself - Troy LaRaviere
Real Media: Former British Diplomat Turned Anarchist
Laura Flanders Show: Star Power for People Power
Consumer Protection Moves to Throw the Weakest Under the Bus
Baltimore Spends Billions on Corporate Subsidies but Can't Heat Its Schools
Can a New Baltimore Police Commissioner Fix a Corrupt Department?
Trump Keeps US in Syria and Sets Off New War
Korean Olympic Unity Gives US War Plans a 'Bloody Nose'
Set Up By FBI Informant, NODAPL Activist Pleads Guilty
Prosecutors Push on Against 59 Protesters Despite Defeat
Mayor Announces New Baltimore City Community Grants Program
The US is Arming and Assisting Neo-Nazis in Ukraine, While Congress Debates Prohibition
After Hawaii Scare, Trump Worsens Nuclear Danger
Baltimore Mayor Fires Police Commissioner Kevin Davis,, The Real News Network, Real News Network, The Real News, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of Independent World Television inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and The Real News Network.

All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network. Click here for more

Problems with this site? Please let us know

Web Design, Web Development and Managed Hosting