Wild Bison being rounded up north of Yellowstone for slaughter by the state of Montana
"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment." - Ansel Adams
I strongly believe in the need to proactively preserve our remaining wilderness. We’ve already lost so much. Consider that nearly 100,000 grizzly bears used to roam the lower 48 states (there are now about 1,000), almost 50 million (yes, million) bison roamed the Great Plains (only a few, small free-ranging herds remain), and hundreds of millions of wild salmon migrated up the Columbia River and it’s tributaries.....all the way into Idaho where they were a major food source for grizzly bears and people. These things have all drastically changed on our watch in only the last 150 years. Its really unbelievable.
"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." - Barbara Ward
I recently found this quote and it really spoke to me. Please consider the issue of climate change which is caused by unnatural levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Humans are the cause. If you're in denial of this fact please find a news outlet that isn't biased toward oil and beef production interests. Listen to science instead.
The rate of climate change hit me hard this past summer when I visited a glacier in Alaska that I last saw in 2002. To a first time visitor, I'm sure the glacier looked magnificent. To me, it had receded over 1/4 mile the in past 15 years. The rock I stood on to touch the glacier 15 years earlier now stood by itself along the ocean shore. It was unbelievable how much things have changed.
We need collectively understand the link between our daily actions and change we're causing in the climate. Animals and nature are having difficulty adapting to such a rapid increase in global temperatures.
Making a difference in your everyday life isn't complicated. You can simply address the '3 Cs' of climate daily an make a big impact.
C #1. COAL. You likely burn coal everyday in order to generate electricity for your home. Here are the easy ways to reduce coal burning:
- Sign up for a 100% renewable energy plan from your utility provider. Sure it costs a bit more, but how can you not afford to do it?
- Replace all of your light bulbs with LED lights. About 6 LED lights use the same amount of electricity as 1 traditional light bulb.
- Put solar panels on your roof and make your own electricity. Or try and wind generator.
C #2. CARS. We all know cars burn gasoline and emit CO2 as a product of combustion. Some us choose to drive large, gas guzzling cars and SUVs when they don't really need it. Please make better choices.
Drive a smaller car. Get a hybrid. Drive an electric car. Don't make excuses, just do it.
Furthermore, we're continually destroying wild places in our quest for oil. How are we letting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska become an oil field? We have to stop destroying the planet so we can drive big cars. This is ridiculous.
C #3. COWS. Yes, cows. The reason is two-fold - Climate Change and Wilderness Protection.
Cows emit about 10% of our greenhouse gases. That's huge. All so we can eat steaks and burgers?
Furthermore, 'Wildlife Services' (yes, a crazy name disguised to mislead you) killed 3.2 million (MILLION!) animals in 2015. This government agency kills coyotes, bears, mountain lions, beavers, foxes, etc. Why? Predominantly to protect the livestock industry which grazes livestock at below-market (i.e. subsidized by all of us) prices on our public lands. Sound crazy? It is. Who's to blame? Each of us who eats beef.
Montana is now killing bison in the wintertime as they wander out of Yellowstone to 'protect' their cattle. Its gone way too far. All things in moderation please.
Please make changes in your daily life to protect the earth, its inhabitants and wild places. As you can see from above, you can make a difference daily.
Thanks for your help!
An old growth forest clear cut. Not only unsightly, but highly destructive to ecosystem health.