Tag Archive for: California Endangered Species Act (CESA)

Men are Women and California Judges Rule Bees are Fish

We live in a wondrous new age in which men can be women. So why can’t bees also be fish? What if they identify, or their lawyers rather, identify them as fish?

They say that the law is an ass, but in this case it may also be a fish. Or a bee. Or whatever the Big Green lobby and the Dems who control the state say it is.

In the latest installment of a years long legal debate over whether bees are fish, a California appeals court has ruled that, for the purposes of the state’s Endangered Species Act, they are.

Environmentalists petitioned the California Fish and Game Commission to add four bumblebee species to the list of at-risk plants and animals governed by the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). Roughly 250 plant and animal species are protected by the CESA, which prohibits the import, export, possession, purchase, or sale of listed species. The Commission provided notice in 2019 that the four bumblebee species were candidates for CESA protection, prompting lawsuits from agricultural groups that were concerned about the costs of adherence to the new requirements.

They also questioned the Commission’s legal authority to designate bumblebees for protection. Insects aren’t a protected category under the CESA. Candidate species may include “a native species or subspecies of a bird, mammal, fish, amphibian, reptile, or plant,” according to the state’s fish and game code. And while California does protect some species of insect, these are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. That left state officials without an intuitive avenue.

Rather than let pesky biological standards get in the way, they had concluded that designating bumblebees as fish was the most fitting way to get them protected under the CESA. Legally, a fish refers to “a wild fish, mollusk, crustacean, invertebrate, amphibian, or part, spawn, or ovum of any of those animals.” Because bumblebees are invertebrates—a protected subset of fish—the Fish and Game Commission argued that they could reasonably be designated as fish per the CESA’s terms.

What do words mean anyway? Isn’t the entire concept of fish something invented by dead white men who were probably racists?

The arguments heard by an appeals court last week primarily focused on one question: What does it mean to be a “fish”?

Apparently, we need to consult a biologist.

“​​We acknowledge the scope of the definition is ambiguous but also recognize that we are not interpreting the definition on a blank slate. The legislative history supports the liberal interpretation of the Act (the lens through which we are required to construe the Act) that the commission may list any invertebrate as an endangered or threatened species,” the 35-page ruling states.

Including California leftists. While they are invertebrates, sadly they are not threatened. Instead, as this case shows us, they do most of the threatening.

But you don’t have to know anything when you’re fighting for social justice.

Bumblebees and honeybees are in the same family (Apidae) but they are in different genera (Bombus and Apis, respectively).  The honeybee species name, mellifera, is Latin for “honey bearer”.   Perhaps the legislature is just confused about bees.  In Section 29414 of the California Food & Agriculture Code incorrectly defines “honeybees” as insects of the genus Apis Mellifica (rather than mellifera).  In fact, Apis Mellifica is a homeopathic remedy that is variously bee venom or an entire bee crushed and diluted in alcohol.  Because there is no species named “apis mellifica”, it seems that in California there are no honeybees and bumblebees are fish.

While all of this is easy to mock, the practical implication of this means that almonds (and almond-based products) and citrus products will once again become more expensive, more family farms will go under, and more environmental consultants in Marin County will get richer.

And so the verdict is unanimous, that the law doesn’t apply to environmentalists and that California farmers have no rights. And that words mean nothing.

When looking at the CESA, Justice Ronald Robie and two other members of the Court of Appeal for the Third Appellate District ruled the CESA’s language does, in fact, cover bumblebees and that the California state legislature had taken action to ensure this result.

“We generally give words their usual and ordinary meaning,” the analysis begins. “Where, however, the Legislature has provided a technical definition of a word, we construe the term of art in accordance with the technical meaning. In performing this function, we are tasked with liberally construing the Act to effectuate its remedial purpose.”

In other words, anything goes.

Robie is an environmentalist and Jerry Brown’s former director of the California Department of Water Resources. Which means that maybe he shouldn’t have been hearing this case.

I would love if this case could somehow move to the federal level with California’s Democrat machine and the entire media focused to defend “bees are fish”.

But if they can do it with men are women, bees and fish are easy. Just don’t ask them about the birds and the bees.


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