Sub­texts

Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

Tur­tle Is­land needs tur­tles In for­mer en­vi­ron­men­tal re­porter Mitch Tobin’s de­but non­fic­tion book, En­dan­gered: Bio­di­ver­sity on the Brink (re­leased by Ful­crum Pub­lish­ing), the author pulls the En­dan­gered Species Act out of the po­lit­i­cal cat­fight that of­ten im­pedes its en­force­ment and sheds light on the act’s in­tri­ca­cies, us­ing sci­ence and a keen hu­man el­e­ment as his great il­lu­mi­na­tors.

“For nearly four decades,” Tobin writes, “the ESA has shaped our nation’s en­tire ap­proach to man­ag­ing nat­u­ral re­sources and be­come an arena in which core con­flicts play out: How should we bal­ance the needs of hu­mans and na­ture?” Ex­am­in­ing the ero­sion of species se­cu­rity in the U.S. through the lens of global-warm­ing aware­ness, Tobin drafts a blue­print for the bleak fu­ture of al­ready at-risk an­i­mal and plant pop­u­la­tions while de­scrib­ing in plain English how the sit­u­a­tion con­tin­ues to worsen.

His en­gag­ing por­traits of the movers and shak­ers on both ends of the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum re­veal some sur­pris­ing re­sults in the bio­di­ver­sity blame game, with lib­eral en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, il­le­gal im­mi­grants, and drug smug­glers shar­ing equal re­spon­si­bil­ity with ranch­ers and con­ser­va­tive pol­i­cy­mak­ers for the coun­try’s on­go­ing eco­log­i­cal cri­sis.

While the main­stream me­dia has di­rected a ma­jor­ity of the pub­lic’s in­ter­est in en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues to­ward the Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon dis­as­ter in the Gulf of Mex­ico (where en­dan­gered species such as the sea tur­tle are now at even greater risk of be­ing lost for­ever), Tobin — with metic­u­lously re­searched re­portage and a hands-on ap­proach — re­minds read­ers that the Amer­i­can South­west is the real ground zero in the on­go­ing bat­tle to bet­ter man­age and pro­tect the nation’s pre­cious wildlife. Join Tobin for the Santa Fe launch of his book at 2 p.m. Satur­day, July 17, at Gar­cia Street Books, 376 Gar­cia St., 986-0151.

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