Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Real Actual Arguments

In 2002, the US District Court for the District of Columbia heard the case of Center for Biological Diversity v. Robert Pirie, Acting Secretary of the Navy (191 F. Supp. 2d. 161). The case involved a Migratoy Bird Treaty Act challenge to the US Navy's bombing of a small island near Guam for training purposes. Here are two real actual arguments employed by the Navy:

1. "[The] use of the area as a live fire range has the beneficial effect of reducing the negative impacts of human intrusion.” *167

In other words, the bombing of this island will benefit birds because no humans won't come to the island for other reasons. The court called this argument "surprising."

2. "[B]ird watchers get more enjoyment spotting a rare bird than they do spotting a common one.” *173

That's right. The more birds killed by Navy bombs, the more rare those birds become and, therefore, the more enjoyment birders get from finding them. The Judge replies, "The Court hopes that the federal government will refrain from making or adopting such frivolous arguments in the future."


John B. said...

Well, he's right in one sense – I have no interest in visiting an island that the Navy is bombing.

Is that good for birds? Probably not.

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