I was particularly disgusted by the comments of The Nature Conservancy's Peter Kareiva at the end of the article.
For Kareiva, that's what it comes down to: a matter of rights. "For me at least," he wrote on TNC's blog this spring, "the rights of people for self-determination take supremacy over any species or biodiversity tally." When I asked him about that, he brought up a riddle, an impossible dilemma first posed by conservation biologist Michael Soulé.
"You're down to one snow leopard, and that leopard is a pregnant mom," Kareiva said. "And if she lives and has a litter of four or five, you could maybe recover the whole species. And you're up on a ridge and she's creeping up and about to kill and eat a small two-year-old child. You have a gun, and you have a choice: You can either kill the leopard and save the child's life, or you can sit by and watch the leopard kill it. That's your only choice. I would save the child."
Put me with Watson, Abbey, Muir, Jeffers, and all who've chosen to belong to something bigger than their own species. Kareiva's values and choice demonstrate the exact cause of the problems these groups supposedly existed to fight against. As long as people consider themselves superior to and distinct from all other life, as long as one human is considered more important than an entire species, there is no hope.