It appears that once again, hard-won victories in the battle to save Mother Earth and the species that live on her are under grave attack. Recent events in Washington and an increasing malaise among citizens are threatening to dismantle or castrate decades of efforts to rollback and improve environmental conditions in the United States and the world.
Whether the “gate” is clean air, clean water, safe food, species and habitat protection or sustainable energy production and waste control; the gate is under attack by big money, big government, and a deeply ingrained “what me worry” attitude among the general populace. While many people care and want to make a difference, they are overwhelmed by the size and complexity of making a stand.
In this era of “fake news”, half-truths and conflicting claims, it can be confusing and disheartening, But if we really look, we can quickly see that things are changing every day in our environment and rarely for the better. The “big picture” can be daunting, even discouraging, but how about focusing in on what YOU CAN see and observe and change yourself.
When I was a child living on the Gulf Coast of southeast Texas, I would hear occasional stories about the Whooping Crane. This was in the idle 1950’s and no one I knew ever heard the word environment or conservation, but they did feel and emotional connection to the vanishing whooping crane and would speak of their promised demise with sadness. “That’s too bad” they would say and move on to another topic. Once in a while the newspaper would comment and I would wonder what those big sad birds really looked like. I only knew that there were less than twenty-five birds left where once there had been thousands.
In 1953, a picture of the great white birds with the red crowns and the black wingtips was pictured on a United States postage stamp and I got my first look. I searched them out in an encyclopedia and learned that at more than four feet, they were the tallest American bird and lived an average of 22-24 years. I was hooked and a lifelong connection between me and the cranes was born.