I sometimes talk with friends about how small the world of like minded people we know really is.
In an article I read about wolves recently (The Howling Wilderness, Sun Magazine) I came across a statistic related to this reality.
99% of funds raised by charities go to helping people.
1% of funds go to animals, and most of that is for cats and dogs.
Obviously, it's a moral good that people are being helped. Yet the gap of difference is unbelievable to me.
That shows my ignorance, and the smallness of the world I understand and inhabit.
I have always thought "the nature" is something universally loved. The reality is, due to increasing urbanization and other things, "the nature" is something the vast majority of people grow up without really knowing. Or something, at least, most grow up without having a deep enough love to care for it. And certainly not enough care or interest to put their money down to prevent its destruction, or support its restoration.
It turns out that humans are far more self centered than I can imagine. Which is interesting, because we depend on all the things we are de-centered from, that escape our notice, that we don't know or have a connection with, apart from eating, drinking, and breathing them.
We really are broken off from our sources of life. It's deeply true, and deeply sad to me.
I know that most people who read this might be as shocked as I am to hear of how far human disconnection can go. So I would encourage all of you who share a connection with landscapes, plants, and animals, to spread that message of care and support. We need to bring people over to this side of things.
We can work together. Site of the upper Elwha Dam Removal. Salmon and steelhead now spawn again in the upper reaches of the river.
I'm not afraid of anything, though I am often sad these days. I see fewer birds, or fewer varieties, than I did when I grew up. All the popularization of trails during Covid has lead to a very honest gut-check type reality of how many people there are in the USA. Our impacts are increasing, not decreasing.
I think that if I've learned anything, it’s that these landscapes, plants, and animals, are things deeply valuable, that can teach us things, and give us things, and are worth working hard to save. If you love them, tell someone else. Educate them on an ethic of loving landscapes in low impact ways. De-commodify the outdoors. You don't need a trip to REI to go for a walk. Your little water bottle doesn't have to be insulated.
The best things in life are often simple, free, and shared. Kind of like wild places, in a way. Simple, free, and shared.
I’ll be back with another podcast soon. For now, take care.