Grist Magazie Asks – What’s your Elevator Pitch for Obama

Jeffflocken_v120_2Grist Magazine asked Environmental leaders from across the US to offer their elevator pitches for Obama.

Jeff Flocken, IFAW's DC Office Director offered these words:

"It will take time, energy, and a renewed commitment to conservation if we are to put our tattered system of conservation laws and policies back together and stem the tide of extinction that is once again rising in the United States and around the world. The Bush administration's philosophy of focusing on the utilization of wildlife populations and habitat under the guise of "sustainable use" ignores the intrinsic value of each animal and its interconnected place in the world. This way of thinking has allowed, during the last eight years, shameful and unsustainable human activities once thought to be dead to slowly rise again: commercial whaling, the brutal seal hunt, the elephant ivory trade, the farming of tigers, the extermination of wolves, trophy hunting of polar bears and countless others, as well as the exploitation of public lands and waters to the detriment of common wildlife, endangered species, and even recreational enjoyment by citizens

"The American people have always been opposed to these things and, until recently, American leadership has been vital to recovering the world's wildlife heritage. In the last century, Americans passed the landmark Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Wilderness Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act. Americans pushed for the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, the International Whaling Commission's ban on commercial whaling, and the Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gases.

"We can do it again. If we are to regain the ground we have lost for wildlife and move forward in the face of global warming, we must decommericalize our wildlife conservation and habitat policies, and instead do all we can to protect these incredible species and their habitats while there is still time."

If you had 30 seconds in an elevator with the President-Elect what important animal welfare issues would YOU say he should tackle first?

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