Sunday, January 1, 2012

Conservation in 2012: support, commitment, and the exchange of knowledge continues

2012 - It's a new year. We wish our friends and family health, prosperity, and good fortune. In fact, we bestow it upon perfect strangers as we disembark elevators or pick up the dry cleaning. It's a moment when we try to make sense of the world and hope that tomorrow and the days that follow will be better than the past. It may just be a seasonal courtesy, an obligatory tagline to a passing conversation. And there's nothing wrong with that, but deep down we know that a better life is ours for the making; it's up to us to make it so.

I hope that conservation of our natural resources is something that continues to resonate with people across the globe. From the personal measures we take in our own lives, to the support
we extend to organizations taking up the struggle beyond our limited capacity, to the power we wield at the ballot box - those who support conservation must continue with their efforts and work intelligently and respectfully to recruit more to the cause. Conservation can never be relegated to being an issue du juor - it is not a short-term problem, a quick fix soon to be forgotten. The consequences for passing the buck on this one are global in scope and go to the very heart of the quality of life for future generations, not to mention the entire planet.

The cause of conservation depends greatly on organizations that exist in the world of "non-profit." They, in turn, depend on the generosity of others to survive and there are many such groups out there - each seeking a piece of what has been, of late, a very limited pie. I am seeing many specific conservation issues - from shark conservation to global warming - moving from the grass roots, emotion-fueled public awareness level to the world of policy development, regulation, and legislation. My suggestion would be to support those organizations that have the infrastructure and the strategies geared toward the national and international legislative arena; this is where quantifiable progress can often be measured, albeit such progress can be frustratingly slow. With our limited resources to donate, I recommend evaluating non-profits not on their good intentions, which are honorable, but on their actions and most importantly on their accomplishments.

For myself, this past year saw another batch of posts in this blog that I hope brought some measure of awareness, enlightenment, and even entertainment in a style that was not too technical, condescending, or argumentative to my readers. I have been fortunate in my life to have been involved in a variety of creative pursuits and though I never pursued an academic degree in marine biology or environmental science (a personal regret at times), science and the wonders of this world have been a constant throughout my life. And so at this point in my life I am trying to weave my careers and my passions together in a way that, I hope, gives back - a sort of "thank you" to those places and people who impressed me, taught me, and motivated me to love and preserve life on this incredible blue marble we call Earth.

Onward and upward. Make it a good day, everyone. Make it a great year.

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