Press Release: What is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Hiding?

Arlington, VA, April 4, 2019— In a video clip published by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a long-running gag order at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service headquarters was revealed. Brian Czech, the first Conservation Biologist hired by the FWS in 1999, describes how he was prohibited from analyzing, discussing, or even mentioning the conflict between economic growth and wildlife conservation. The methods of suppression became extreme through the course of Czech’s 18 years at headquarters.

Czech, an expert in the ecological economics of biodiversity conservation, had studied the conflict between growth and conservation during his Ph.D. and postdoctoral studies. He now serves as Executive Director for the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (Arlington, VA).

While giving credit to the “smart, passionate, and productive” employees among FWS staff, Czech points to a problem in the leadership ranks of the National Wildlife Refuge System. He charges the Refuge System chiefs with failing to address the “big-picture, long-term, intellectually demanding” challenges to wildlife conservation, and instead using their positions as “tax-paid joyrides” throughout the Refuge System.

Czech maintains that civil servants have a crucial role to play in informing Americans of the trade-offs they face – but rarely hear about – between economic growth and environmental protection. Instead, he notes, political appointees and high-level bureaucrats mislead the public with the win-win rhetoric that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment,” while suppressing scientists and ecological economists who have analyzed the conflict.

The video is the latest segment of PEER’s Eco-Champions Campaign. It also announces a book going to press in 2019, Gag-Ordered No More.

About CASSE

CASSE is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. CASSE raises public awareness of limits to growth, identifies the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative, and studies the means to establish a steady state economy. For more information, contact skylerperkins@steadystate.org (802-355-7855).

 


 

Press Release: NGOs Challenged to Back Up Their Rhetoric

Environmental organizations mollify their members with the fuzzy notion that “there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment.” CASSE wants a debate.

Arlington, VA, September 18, 2018—The Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy (CASSE) has sent a letter to the presidents of the top ten environmental NGOs challenging them to a debate. The debate will center around one question: “Is there a conflict between economic growth and environmental protection?”

“Thank you for your efforts toward environmental protection,” the letter begins. “Your mission is of utmost importance in the 21st Century. We wish you the best in accomplishing it. You can’t, however, when the overriding domestic policy goal is economic growth.”

CASSE has analyzed the rhetoric of the NGOs and found that “many loudly proclaim that there is no conflict between growing the economy and protecting the environment,” while others maintain silence. Their failure to recognize the problem, CASSE executive director Brian Czech says, propagates “the notion that we can have our environmental cake and eat it too for the sake of GDP growth.” CASSE takes the position that there is a fundamental conflict between economic growth and environmental protection.

The debates—up to 10 of them—will be between each NGO president and Czech (who established CASSE in 2003 after being prohibited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from raising awareness of the topic). Each debate will be moderated by a neutral host and held at the National Press Club, a major college or university, or some other venue conducive to a public hearing with press coverage. The debates will be structured with timed opening statements, rebuttals, moderator questions, and open questions from the floor.

The NGOs that CASSE has challenged include: National Wildlife Federation, Defenders of Wildlife, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth (USA), Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, and the Izaak Walton League.

About CASSE

CASSE is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit educational organization. CASSE raises public awareness of limits to growth, identifies the steady state economy as the sustainable alternative, and studies the means to establish a steady state economy. For more information, contact info@steadystate.org.