bush, protecting the environment… sort of

there’s an article from the associated press today that is reporting that bush is taking steps to protect three separate island chains in the pacific.

Bush is considering conserving parts of the Northern Mariana islands in the western Pacific, as well as eight islands and coral reef atolls and their surrounding waters in the central Pacific that are part of the Line Islands and American Samoa.

hurray! needless to say, i was a bit surprised when i read this. granted, he did help create the NWHI refuge, but in much the same manner, i question to just what extent is the president truly willing to protect these marine environments. and then the answer comes:

While an assortment of activities including commercial fishing, oil and gas exploration and deep sea mining could be allowed, barring extractive activities “would be one of the most significant environmental achievements” of any president, said Joshua S. Reichert, managing director of the Pew Environment Group.

not being an expert on such matters, i can’t help but be a little confused by this. “an assortment of activities” will be excluded, including deep sea mining and military training exercises, extractive activities would be barred? extractive? oil and gas exploration, mining and commercial fishing, to me would be described as “extractive.” are there additional, more harmful extractive activities that would excluded? i certainly can’t think of any.

just to be clear, bush wants to protect these areas from everything except oil and coal speculators, commercial fisherman, and military bombardment. what’s left to protect these island chains from?

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