Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nature Cashing Out

Our many early naturalists deserve our thanks for making people consider birds and other re- sources as gifts to be enjoyed and treasured and not just used and discarded. Awareness is still very important today. Each new generation must be taught the value of our natural world and the historical lessons we have learned from exploiting their limited quantities.

John Burroughs said, "I never studied birds, I just spent a lot of time with them."

Time and experience are the best teachers, and the most incredible classroom is the great out- doors. There is not enough time in one life to see everything displayed or begin to understand Nature’s logistics.

Man has long considered himself capable of improving upon nature. He often regards nature’s distribution of her creatures as haphazard. He has moved birds halfway around the world to eat some insect that was eating his crop, who in turn ate his insect and then his crop, too!

I think Noah started all this. Boat people are like that. Give them a helm and they get overwhelmed. Ever since Noah moored his boat we have been meddling with the arrangements. It’s like moving the living room furniture because we’re tired of looking at it the same old way.

During the Depression people painted their beautiful oak furniture all kinds of off-the-wall colors because they were bored with oak and couldn’t afford anything new. That’s why so many antiques are painted like rainbows. I guess it’s a weakness man has. He just tires of the same old miracles of nature and decides he’s a better architect than the guy who originally designed everything.

As bored people continue to board the planet earth we multiply numbers and divide resources. We develop all kinds of surreal technology to create more living space, more food, more water and more misery for those who have little access to any of it.

We have learned that we can manipulate nature. We have dams that hold back mighty rivers, sea walls that fence off the ocean itself. We can drill through the earths crust and extract the carbon that has been deposited there for millions of years and put it back into the atmosphere by re-burning it. This energy exchange may be the straw that breaks the camels back and spills all that water we think we have mastered.
--Keep Smilin', Dick E. Bird

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