Maybe the most amusing part of this story about whether the American Rivers list of the “Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers” is actually meaningful is this quote in the Post:

“Any time you have a list, whether it’s the top 10 movies of the year, or the top 10 endangered rivers, there’s always some subjective judgment applied,” President Bob Irvin said. “If our list were solely a list of what does the chemistry tell us is the most polluted river in the country, that probably would not change from year to year.”

Setting aside the weird comparison of endangered rivers to the year’s best movies, apparently the Potomac topped the list this year, thanks to its symbolism, or something. The Post’s Robert McCartney argues that when the group comes up with a new list of rivers every year, it dings the credibility of environmental protection groups. I’m not so sure about that—it may offer more ammunition to the anti-climate change types, but they’re also not going to suddenly be swayed because of a list of endangered rivers published on the Internet.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery