In his last days in office, President Bush has created the world’s largest marine protection area in the Pacific Ocean.
The legislation he signed bans commercial fishing and mining in a vast area (195,000 miles) including the Mariana Trench, Rose Atoll in American Samoa, and seven equatorial islands in the Central Pacific.
The Times Online reports that hundreds of unique species live in the area to be protected, including the rare Malaysian megapode, a bird which incubates its eggs in the heat of underwater volcanoes, and the world’s largest land crab. The area also features unique geological formations.
Ironic, no? On the one hand, by creating this zone President Bush has become a major marine conservationist. On the other, he and his administration have failed to curb carbon emissions or take an action to minimize climate change, refusing, for example, to sign the Kyoto Protocol.
What’s the point of protecting a dead ocean, Mr. Bush?