by Stephen Capra
For the past year or so, I, like many Catholics have been watching something that has not existed before in our lifetimes. It is like many miracles unexpected and it is shaking the very foundation of one of the world’s largest religious orders and its millions upon millions of followers. You see a pope who took the name of Francis, and comes from the linage of the Jesuit decided church must return to its roots, its mission if you will. To tend to the poor, to live by example and crusade for justice for all people and for that matter for the earth!
This coming week, the pope will speak about climate change, in so doing he will challenge Catholics, politicians and people throughout the world to change their ways and respect our planet, to listen to science, not the paid soothsayers of our time that parade their goods to republican lawmakers, Fox News and the distillery of lies that only Big Oil, nuclear and coal can produce.
The story of this pope is one that almost takes me back to church, almost…what I and many can say is that his belief, his pride and his compassion all speak to what many of us would strive for in ourselves and in the work we do.
At its heart working to protect the earth is a profession that needs heart, which requires passion. For the earth, like many people, is suffering. Like a person living in the street, thin and ailing, our planet at the hands of men has become homeless and weak. While some hold seats of power and profess an endless love and lust of money and power, the very means of their survival-our earth, is the unintended target of their insecurity.
Drill it, mine it, cut it, kill it and find ways to profit off that which is our life blood. In our search to always grow, we steal that which future generations will need to survive. In the weeks ahead, republicans will take control of Congress. They will introduce a litany of bills to sell off public lands, to ignore climate change, to subsidize more oil, nuclear and coal. They will fight protections for endangered species and will talk about cutting taxes and growing the economy.
They will also chide the pope, call him an “activist” and likely ignore his calls for sanity and respect for our planet and for respecting the use of real science.
The pope has shown that returning to your roots is to lead by example. So too can the conservation community learn by returning to its roots. We can shun the glossy offices and endless compromise which defines our modern downfall.
The pope, while far from perfect, represents a challenge to us all. Be true to yourself and the mission that you define as your life’s work. Do it with humility and with passion.
With 2015 upon us, we at Bold Visions Conservation understand our mission is to fight for the lives of so many species. It is to fight for the lands and waters that give us life and joy. It is to fight the corporations and politicians that are working every day to make man and our planet the next endangered species, through greed and a lust for power and profit.
We are but a small organization, but one with a mission and a purpose. We see a responsibility to be vocal and intelligent, to be passionate and smart. Working on conservation is a blessing, one that comes with responsibility. We do not see limitations, but opportunities.
We understand that we must do so with integrity and with a return to the days when working for conservation meant doing so with the spirit of a volunteer and the determination of one that saw only victory as possible and viewed compromise as part of that which starved earth of its soul.
Let us also return to our roots, while moving with purpose into the future.
Bold Visions Conservation