Zealous Conservancy as a Religion

Why Staying on the Trail Is Bad for Nature

Bethany shared this on Facebook and then Jodi sent it to me.   And in that article there’s a link to another article.

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/05/kid_play_zones_in_parks_leave_no_trace_inhibits_fun_and_bonding_with_nature.html

It appears to me that intelligent conservation might be turning into conservationism.  And there’s nothing worse than hardpacked, don’t touch, stay on the “trail”, follow the rules without question, we’ll tell you what the rules are and what to think religionism.  In the very short run, it effects the changes intended.  In the much longer run, it destroys them altogether because people simply lose respect for the principles.  Principles are really and truly only principles if they are applied rightly and smartly.

Now, I’m sure that all conservation is not going the route of ism overnight.  But, it doesn’t take much for it to happen.  Let someone find a way to make millions off it (carbon swaps anyone?) and, well, the whole idea goes to hell.

We must recognize that we as humans DO have a marked and measurable impact on this planet.  That impact is extremely pronounced in some places and in others it would require the universe equivalent of a scanning electron microscope to detect.

I have a firm belief that when we put as the highest priority the things that should have the highest priority, the rest kind of falls in line.  Conservation is a wonderful idea.  But, when conservation itself becomes the priority, we have lost our way.  It may not seem like that while we look at the point in time just beyond the tip of our nose, but in the end, no good will ultimately come of it.  If, however, we put as the priority the earth and sustainable living with the future of everyone in mind, then conservation becomes a tool to achieve that.  It is no longer a priority in and of itself.

Sounds like a lot of driveling nonsense, I know.  But, truly, can’t we just step back for a moment, pull our eyes from the computer and phone screens and take a hard look at the world around us?  Look at what each of us as individuals is doing and then extrapolate that out to 4 billion other people doing the same thing.  I suppose the other 4 billion live in poverty and they have their own set of problems.

Good God, it scares me.

It’s not the destruction really.  In enough time, beyond my lifetime and several after mine, it will all correct and heal itself.  What scares me is the true heart of man.  That we are willing to allow and create the destruction for convenience, comfort, and our new God money.

So, let’s focus on changing hearts and minds and conservation will happen naturally.  It can not happen the other way around.

The Wilderness . . .
I haven't bathed or showered in months

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