Conservation Conversations & Quandaries: The Trees Don’t Make the Cut (2/4)

In the spirit of Roderick Haig-Brown, I’m inspired to share a few comments on conservation from an exchange with KB.

Part the Second, in which the trees don’t make the cut.

My good friend KB researches, among other things, trees. So I sent along this cartoon:

Cartoon by Jim Borgman via "Target: The Political Cartoon Quarterly."

Cartoon by Jim Borgman via “Target: The Political Cartoon Quarterly.”

Via email, KB replied:

I don’t get [it]. I guess James Watt didn’t like trees?

Followed immediately by:

Ahhhh [link to the wikipedia page about James Watt, US Secretary of the Interior from 1981-1983].

Best Part: “Watt periodically mentioned his Dispensationalist Christian faith when discussing his method of environmental management. Speaking before Congress, he once said, “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns, whatever it is we have to manage with a skill to leave the resources needed for future generations.”

Two of my favo(u)rite excerpts are:

According to the environmental advocacy group Center for Biological Diversity, for more than two decades, Watt had the record for protecting the fewest species by the Endangered Species Act in United States history.

AND this gem:

During a 2001 interview, Watt applauded the Bush administration energy strategy and said its prioritization of oil drilling and coal mining above conservation is just what he recommended during the early 1980s. “Everything Cheney’s saying, everything the president’s saying – they’re saying exactly what we were saying 20 years ago, precisely … Twenty years later, it sounds like they’ve just dusted off the old work.” [via The Denver Post]

What a guy. To me, this speaks to some of the problems that Camila had with her audience, as well – a sense of inevitability and sentiments of general apathy in the face of overwhelming inertia.

Happy Birthday, Bubba! I didn’t get you a card because WE HAVE TO STOP KILLING TREES. But I love you.

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One Response to Conservation Conversations & Quandaries: The Trees Don’t Make the Cut (2/4)

  1. AMANDA! says:

    For more on James Watt in cartoons, see Denise M. Bostdorff (1987) “Making light of James Watt: A Burkean approach to the form and attitude of political cartoons” in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, 73:1, pages 43-59.

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