Category Archives: morality

Educating children to become environmental vandals?!

As I try to find some time, amid the thin interstices of these last weeks of the semester, to finish ID’ing the critters we saw during our bioblitz and write up my report here, I’ve been skimming the reports from our fellow blogger bioblitzers. And I just came across this rather depressing account by Karmen of her encounter with the dark-side of humanity: how some members of our species “relate” to other species, i.e., another example of how much contempt some grown men have for nature, and how these a**holes actively inculcate such attitudes among their own children! Karmen was out sketching some geese by a pond in Colorado, when this happened:

As I sat, softly sketching, watching the geese out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of the guys who was fishing across the cove had started “exploring”. He walked right across the narrow strip of land that I was drawing, and marched right up to the goose’s nest. I watched, horrified, as he bent down and picked up an egg out of the nest. The geese went nuts, honking at him, but he ignored them, and started to walk back, egg in hand. I was pissed. I put down my pastels, and called out.

“Hey! You do realize that you are on a wildlife refuge, and that bird and its eggs are protected by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, right?! You’re breaking the law!”

He sneered at me. “It was already broken,” he drawled, with a thick accent that seemed to match his cowboy hat.

I didn’t really know what to say. I sat there, watching and shaking with anger, as he brought his buddy and kid over to stomp around on the nest. Not only was he going to raid the poor bird’s nest, but he was going to teach his little kid how to do it, too. What a way to teach your kids to respect their environment. As they walked, the pile of sticks (one of the focal points in my painting) collapsed under them, sending debris spilling into the cove. They kept poking around the nest, while the geese shouted angrily. What could I do? I grabbed my camera, and took pictures of their despicable desecration of my bioblitz site.

She then also had the presence of mind to take pictures of the poachers’ trucks in the parking lot, including good shots of the license plates, and send all the information off to the Colorado Department of Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief. One now hopes that they haul this guy’s ass in, and that the kid learns something more positive about nature and wildlife than what his father (presumably) has been teaching him.

I guess we were luckier to only run into a sixth grade field trip where the kids were actually learning to appreciate (scientifically from what I overheard) rocks, and plants, and bugs, and birds.

We sure have a lot of work to do on our own species, don’t we? So I’m glad Jose has taken the lead to start a new sustainability club on our campus where we might begin to address some of these kinds of issues as well!

Because Science Never Sleeps: Greed vs Morality

Response to the Troll’s Opinion (Anonymous comment to the previous post on global warming), expand and read the post below.

Whether or not global warming is occurring is a matter of opinion, hopefully your opinion is based upon the evidence that is presented and your interpretation of it, not someone’s else view. So far from my understanding, I happen to believe that global warming is occurring, along side the degradation environment at a global level. However, regardless of my opinion or yours (whom ever), conservation and environmental protection are actually moral issues. These issues are blind to religion, and are based on standard practices of just being a decent person.

The issue of global warming, in most part if not all is based on the carbon emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. Even if it was discovered those fossil fuels cause no change in the atmospheric environment, we as a global society need to reduce the amount of oil based products we use daily. The reason is quite simple, the amount of crude oil that is left in the Earth is limited, and there is not doubt about this. It may last between 10 or 100, or even 1000 years (very unlikely) more. However, due to this uncertainty WE ALL need to help in the effort to conserve this limited resource. This is not an issue of foreign versus domestic oil; it is an issue pertaining to the world as a whole. The same thing goes for the environment, it is a limited resource which must be conserved not destroyed and over used, like it was something going out of style.

Hopefully, what you get out of reading this short editorial is that conservation/protection of the environment is not a political issue it is an issue of doing the right thing. The simplest analogy is this: Oil consumption is like a buffet at a wedding, restaurant, etc. When you go to the trays you don’t extend your arms to the side and tell the rest of the patrons that you are not going to allow them to eat until you’ve had your fill of the top 2 or 3 items. Instead, you go up to the table(s), serve what you think you can eat and the other people do the same. Oil comsumption is the same, it is something that you should be utilizing only to satisfy your needs not your wants (which will never be met, just like in economics).