Listening to the news today, I have again thanked (in my thoughts only) the chief Elder who hasn't so far forced me to cover the life and deeds of our illustrious ministers and their minions, leaving it to be my hobby only. So Minister Yisrael Katz didn't appear too many times on these pages, the last time only being memorable because of an outlandish initiative. These days Mr Katz serves us all as Minister of Transportation and, between other things, is responsible for the new railroad to Eilat. While some people doubt the economic justification for 30 billion shekels (about 8 billion dollars) project, it seems that as an alternative to Suez canal for transfer of goods from the Red Sea to Mediterranean basin it may bring some unexpected benefits. So I am all for it.
When the plans for the railway reached the local Environment Protection Agency, the excrement hit the air-conditioning. Of course, typically for everything any government touches everywhere, the engineers planning the tracks didn't consult the nature experts, and the planned railway goes straight through a small but important habitat near Eilat, where several families of Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards eke their living, only a few meters from the main highway connecting Eilat with the rest of the country. Puny-sized as it is, the habitat of this endangered species will simply disappear under the railway, taking the lizards with it. Naturally (no pun intended), EPA people are in a serious snit about this issue (and several others related to the railway).
In an interview today, Minister Katz expressed his personal displeasure with the "Greens that cry about some stupid lizard that may be squashed". Ehehe... what can I say? When a multibillion project like this one is planned, a few shekels could definitely be found to resolve the problem, letting the lizards be. As for their value to humanity, compared to other species and their intellectual level - why, we can use the Minister himself for comparison, why not?. Since we don't have much material (aside of that link) for judging the intellect, the best way seems to be to compare the pictures of the two species (I am a great believer in the look and see method).
You can see that, for fairness sake, I have presented only the upper part of the contestands' bodies. Because, being corpulent as he is, Mr Katz will be put at a considerable disadvantage. As for the value of each contestant to humanity - just read that link... anyway, I am far from being sure that it is a good idea for Minister Yisrael Katz to call anyone, lizards included, stupid...
So there. Now, when you got the whole picture, you can watch an entertaining episode from the Egyptian spiny-tailed lizards' daily routine (parental discretion advised):