by Stephen Capra
If I have learned anything from my years in conservation it’s that confidence and vision are the tools for preservation. The history of our movement is filled with those who saw with their eyes what many could not see with binoculars. Those gifted few whose hearts have been sated by the experiencing the life of a bison or wolf, or by the power of a summer storm exploding in the heart of Canyonlands. For some, all of this lacks meaning; for their life must have order, predictability and protection, the insurance of ignorance.
This lack of soul, as I would term it, has become the mantra of the corporate conservation world. It is a place of facts and figures, talking points, scientific reasoning, which has created an occlusion of the soul that once exemplified a movement to preserve our planet and to share life with all species.
You see if we are to protect wolves or stop drilling on our coasts, we must generate the confidence to override those enemies that will never listen to reason. Those radical tea partyers, the oil industry, the loathsome republicans elected from rural districts that would destroy life as we know it for profit. The hollow souls, who see no limits to growth, deny climate change or cringe at the concept of sustainability. But our confidence must also allow for self-reflection of a movement that leaves us chilblain by their structured and scripted artificial intelligence and efforts at incremental or inch-meal progress. Those very people, will be the traduce faction which tries to undermine our efforts.
So let’s get to work. Our efforts should focus on the wolf first! We have the confidence, the sense of righteousness, to end the killing machine and ignorance that controls their fate, we must act. This is in many ways like the domestic abuse we have been hearing so much about lately in the NFL. Many well-meaning conservationists are allowing themselves and those who genuinely care, to be abused by politicians and the livestock industry. While viewing us as extreme! They lack the confidence and passion to crush those who would kill, along with those in authority who emotionally abuse our stance.
The solution is we come together to support one another, we think big and we push an aggressive and visionary proposal, one that challenges and excites people, one that challenges conventional thinking, something along the lines of ending public lands grazing, doubling the size of Yellowstone and designating that wilderness areas are non-hunting preserves for wildlife. Remember, the creation of Yellowstone challenged conventional thinking in its day! So too does the idea of a National Monument in the middle of the Pacific (Remote Islands National Monument) that is 100,000 square miles larger than the state of Alaska. That is the magic of vision.
We must have confidence!
We must begin to look at areas that need restoration which will become future parks in one hundred years or more. That can only happen if we believe that the future of many areas of conservation will come from the restoration of lands that are contaminated, denuded, clear-cut or somehow far from pristine. This defines the concept of positive growth, a future that creates a better world and quality of life. We do not need another mall, or subdivision, we need wildness!
It is important to read if you want to feel a sense of vision and confidence to dream big, and put those dreams into action. When I read Stegner, or Terry Tempest Williams, Abby or Olson, I feel the beating of a heart, a heart that distills reason and a course of action.
If you cannot feel, then you cannot understand; but if you respond to their passion and challenge, then you are suited for the modern world of conservation: one that enlists real people, allows volunteers to create, fight and become a part of a vision allowing them to excite their hearts to pump the energy which creates change. One which understands that protecting the planet needs a holistic approach, which means it all matters…
Thus our vision and passion must be both local and global. Confidence cannot be limited to protecting a wolf, or a wilderness area, it must expand to showing support and energy to remote lands and vast oceans because of the interconnected nature of life. No place is an island, but a living part of the puzzle which we call earth or home. If New Zealand wants to drill for oil off their coast because a conservative government thinks its ok, we must act; we must understand the impact it has on all waters and the power it gives those who would destroy. It emboldens them and creates yet another blueprint for carnage. If elephants are being slaughtered for ivory, we must fight; because every loss is abuse, allowing those without feeling to see victory and profit. We cannot obsess and we must care for ourselves, but we must stop the madness.
The greatest profit in life is to share the land with wildlife, to swim amongst dolphins and explore lands that wolves and grizzly call home. We were born with amongst other things, a brains and heart. With such intelligence we were given a responsibility to protect species, lands and waters that define this amazing planet.
We have allowed so many for so long, to marginalize us, to make us think small. We must have the confidence to call their bluff, and it begins with the very groups that pretend to represent us. It is followed by those infused with the greed that punctures the heart into a pulsation of lost feeling.
While many conservation groups speak of working with ranchers, sportsmen and finding common ground, they ignore the reality we are just a republican President away from those very groups aggressively working to sell off public lands and end wilderness, wake up and stop this charade!
We are far better than this: let’s move out of the shadows and demand justice for our planet and understand we have, each of us, the power to create real change.
Let’s commit to the power and energy needed to protect great Mother Earth, from which come our life, spirit, endless beauty, joy and magic. Great heavenly forces embrace us with strength to deflect the mighty gates of hell in its destructiveness.
Let’s take the first step-by uniting with confidence, protecting our brother wolf and let us use that gift of volitional to create a more beautiful and connected planet!
“When you are inspired by some great purpose some extraordinary project – all your thoughts break their bonds – your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction – one finds themselves in a new, great wonderful world. Dormant forces faculties, and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
Bold Visions Conservation