Man Versus Mussels
The city of Atlanta, Georgia, is running out of water. Despite this, the Army Corps of Engineers has ordered that sufficient water flows be drained out of Lake Lanier, the city's main reservoir, to keep alive the fat threeridge mussel located in Florida's Apalachicola River, some 350 miles away.
While the water level of Lake Lanier is poised to fall below the lowest level it set in 1981, a mandatory 3.2 billion gallons of water are drained each day from the lake to meet the requirement of the Endangered Species Act to keep the endangered mussel alive.
Officials estimate that Atlanta will run out of water in three months unless man takes precedence over mussels, and the water flows are stopped.
To place man above the mussel is illegal under the law. The Endangered Species Act is clear. All species are to be protected at any cost. Only one species is dispensable: man.
The citizens of Atlanta (and all men) only need one idea to protect them from this deadly mussel: man's right to his own life. If man has rights, animals cannot. If man has rights, his interests always come first and this absurd battle of man versus mussel could never arise. This incident illustrates very clearly that for man to survive, he must be completely free to alter nature for his own benefit.
When man's needs conflict with nature, as it must, man must always win: for man to drink, the mussels must die. Man's life depends on his right to his own life being inviolable.
There is a secondary, albeit crucially important idea that the citizens of Atlanta also need: property rights. If profit-seeking, private companies had owned the lakes and rivers and had been supplying water to Atlanta all along, instead of the government, it is unlikely that such a large, fast-growing city would have become so dependent on the smallest watershed in Georgia for its water supply. Even without the deadly mussel, Atlanta was probably vulnerable all along to drought simply because its water supply is so small relative to the city's size. A private company makes money by supplying water and has every incentive to actively develop and maintain adequate water supplies. City politicians do not have the same incentive, thus Atlanta's precarious position.
In conclusion, remember these lessons, Atlantans (and all Americans): your right to life and your right to property are the weapons you need to protect yourselves from all external threats, foreign and domestic. Without those rights, even a tiny, inedible mussel can crush you out of existence.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Man Versus Mussels