In response to Cody's post, A Nagging Sense.
|Lili's first fish|
One day she decided that it would be good to catch some fish and eat them. We went to the pond late afternoon and dropped our lines in. We must have caught forty fish in a matter of minutes. We kept a dozen blue gill that were big enough to fillet, put them in a bucket of pond water, and headed home to clean, cook and eat our catch. At home I grabbed a fillet knife and cutting board, asked my daughter to follow me into the back yard and help me prepare our catch. The sun was setting and I wanted to get the fish cleaned before dark. As I was dumping out the water from the bucket my daughter ran into the house. I followed and found her in her room crying. She couldn't watch me kill the fish. In fact, she begged me not to do it, to go back to the pond and set them free. I stood there exasperated, watching her cry, but you know what I did. I went out back, got the bucket and drove back to the pond. It was dark by then. The fish flopped in about an inch of water and I thought their chance of survival was slim, but I had to try. I dumped the bucket into the pond and immediately half of them swam off. I reached out and touched the rest and three more swam off. Three floated atop the water, not moving. Knowing my daughter's disappointment if she knew three died, I grabbed one by the tail and moved it back and forth, hoping to get water into it's gills. I did that with each fish and each one revived and swam off. My daughter was very happy.
My daughter is thirteen now and a self proclaimed tree hugger. If it weren't for her love of bacon I believe she would be a vegetarian, which would be very hard on me. She's not overly zealous in her environmentalism, it has more to do with her love of animals and her desire to maintain their habitats. I think that's pretty cool, even if I might not agree with every part of her stance. She thinks to recycle and has voiced concerns over greenhouse gases, although I don't think she fully understands the global warming/climate change problem. The funny thing is she never turns out a light when she leaves a room and she would love for her family to have a big truck. Her understanding of environmental issues and the concepts and reasoning for conservation are limited by her knowledge of the issues and her personal perspective, which is based on her experiences and her personal desires. I think this is true of many people, child and adult alike, when it comes to the issues of global warming/climate change and our understanding of stewardship of our planet. Really, in most areas of life.
Cody, you're right about the fact that we need to be cognizant of our impact on our environment and resources. I believe that humanity will always adapt to the circumstances that will arise in the future, but that doesn't abrogate us of our responsibility to be wise stewards. In fact, I'd go so far to say that with the amount of natural resources being consumed today, we have a greater responsibility than any past generation. Outside of cooperate entities, like the rightfully beleaguered BP, I believe this to be the consensus.
As to global warming/climate control, I think many are reacting to what I see as hyperbolic, apocalyptic rhetoric from politicians and celebrities much like my daughter did over the fish. Although she could not bring herself to end those fishes lives, it doesn't mean we should end all fishing in the world. This issue of global warming has a massive impact on the world's economy. The fact that the Kyoto Treaty lingers in limbo proves the point. The science for man made causation is compelling and warrants our deepest concern and our sincerest efforts, but also our desire to fully understand what global warming is. Like I said in my earlier post, the scare tactics cause me to question the motivation of those pushing it. If we accept every change that is considered necessary to combat global warming our lives will change dramatically as it impacts the very economies that make our lives possible today. Doesn't that give you reason to think a bit of skepticism is healthy?
One last point. My daughter recently came running into the house screaming that we had an alligator in our yard. I went out, and sure enough, there was a two and a half foot gator by the house. My wife wanted me to get rid of it, my daughter wanted me to save it. I called our local animal control and they gave me over to an organization that deals with nuisance gators. In Florida such an organization is necessary. I was advised that since it wasn't being a nuisance I should leave it alone and it would instinctively find a body of water. We all went into the house; my wife contacted people she thought would help get rid of it, my daughter and I waited. Twenty minutes later my daughter and I went back out, and it was gone. My wife followed us out of the house with instructions she received from a friend as to how to capture it. None were needed, because the situation had taken care of itself. Now, don't we think that the Earth will do the same if we humans screw her up too much? Just sayin'.