Obama sends Americans into lions’ den

President Barack Obama is trying to push you out the door. Billed as the “America’s Great Outdoors” program, the initiative will “conserve cherished land and encourage Americans to enjoy the outdoors.”

Mr. President, with all due respect, but have you been outside? There’s mosquitoes out there. And bears. And no Playstation.

This all sounds like a ruse to get us outside while the President watches his stories instead of more Dora reruns.

Well, we hope we get kidnapped, just to teach you a lesson. Was your little Internet “me-time” worth it?

Internet 1, dumb animals 0

The internet is famous for bringing people together. But some of those people include poachers and rare animal collectors, fueling a resurgence in the illegal wildlife trade. It’s the Craiglist’s of the animal skin trade!

Stop looking at us like that. It’s not like we’re directly to blame, though we would like to shake some hands.

The internet’s effect on the trade of endangered wildlife was one of the biggest issues discussed at the recent meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, or CITES, which gathered representatives from 175 countries to discuss conservation issues. A case in point was Kaiser’s Spotted Newt, which CITES delegates voted to ban the trade of after the World Wildlife Fund declared internet sellers had “devastated” the species’s population. This is the same WWF that felt the need to make Vince McMahon (through legal means) change the name of his wrestling organization so that people wouldn’t get the two confused.

CITES chief law enforcement officer John Sellar is skeptical the internet has really made it safer for illegal wildlife traders to sell, considering how easily purchases can be traced. EBay was once one of the main marketplaces for illegal ivory trading, but a complete ban of the practice in 2008 has sharply decreased such activity on the internet as a whole.

The Internet itself isn’t the threat, but it’s another way to market the product. Most people are not willing to pay $300 for a salamander. But through the power of the Internet, tapping into the global market, you can find buyers.

Dear people who are spending that much change on animals. Stop doing so. We don’t need you to spend that much money if we’re going to be fighting a war with them anyways.