Protecting environment everyone’s job

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist

There on my Facebook page, larger than life, it appeared. “Become a Fan of: Stop the Wolf Killing Bill in Utah.”

Though I don’t live in Utah, I find that, at least according to Facebook, I can weigh in on this conservation minded issue.

So I did, and as a bonus find myself gently connected to a number of other earth-friendly sites. I emphasize gently connected because this column is not meant to be tongue in cheek, but an honest plea for a more ecologically aware future.

Coincidentally, I open the main Yahoo page, and am confronted with a story which looks like an interesting current events article to share with my high school students. It seems that, over the past 25-50 years, a large section of the Northwest Pacific Ocean, essentially off the coast of Oregon and Washington, is becoming hypoxic. Hypoxic: lacking in oxygen. You can imagine the potential effect on marine life, and the marine food chain; these are some of the most fertile waters in the hemisphere.

What is perhaps harder, for me, to fathom is that this process has been occurring over what seems, to us, a very long time. In fact, both of these issues are the result of long term ecological problems: the hypoxic ocean, and the intolerance for large predators by humans who believe that only we have the right to — well, to be the large predators.

Last night I dreamed of a large black wolf which, while running in a snow-spotted field, turned to me with a very expressionable face. There were no words — this was not one of those talking animal dreams — but the animal very plainly represented “If you don’t speak for us, who will?”

The second person pronoun was not singular — this was not some prophetic call as one finds in the Old Testament — but addressed to all of us who care. Who wish to present to our children and our grandchildren, and their descendants, a world which has space and concern for all aspects of creation, as being valid and valued.

If the discoveries of the past 60 years, in terms of ecology, have given us one solid conclusion, it is that the earth is an interwoven fiber, where what impacts one area, impacts others.

Across religious lines, this is one truth which seems to recur, and in thoughtful circles, embrace science and theology in one truth.

There is no easy solution; there is no simplistic answer. The answer lies in awareness, and in practicing what one is made aware of.

The obvious truth is that, for those of us who appreciate seafood, a hypoxic North Pacific will have consequences. The deeper, subtler truths are related to the long term, ripple effects of this condition, of greenhouse gases, of deforestation.

What can you do? I don’t have an easy answer; I am barely aware of what I can do, but the process begins, and only begins, with being informed. You share the earth with numerous other beings, each of which has a right to life. If we don’t speak/act/vote/plan for them, who will ?