Roman's book ends at home, in Vermont. Here, bats are dying by the thousands, brought down by a mysterious disease, white-nose syndrome. The ESA can do little, it seems, to prevent this catastrophe.
Yet the dying of bats seems less a failure of legislation, and more a stark affirmation of the ESA's underlying values. Listed is a reminder that our economy and health are composed from the lives of other species, and our joys and losses too. The deeper affiliation that the law contains -- and that Roman wants us to contemplate -- is that we are tightly bound to nature, not just observers of extinction.
In the epilogue to Listed, Roman doesn't have the heart to tell his pre-school-aged daughter that the bats she recently observed have all died. Instead, when one unexpected survivor flies into the house, he goes with her to let it back out. "I opened the door to the natural world," he writes in the penultimate sentence. "We walked toward the bat."
|Contact: Joshua Brown|
University of Vermont