I’m going to stand on my soapbox for a few moments.
It’s time. The fighting and the bickering and the idiotic accusations need to end. The finger pointing. The political wrangling. The disinformation and the misinformation, on both sides, have to come to a halt.
What is this crazy person talking about? I’m talking about the glaring and ever-present rift between outdoorsmen and environmentalists. They hate each other, and it’s an exasperating thing to witness. My exasperation is rooted in the idea that both interests have the exact same goals. They both want the wild to stay wild. They both want the environment to be clean and healthy so future generations can enjoy the same fresh air, the same untamed places we enjoy.
There is a natural alliance built in here, one that could and should be forged, one that can form a solid voting bloc, a major political force to be reckoned with. If the two sides would just stop fighting. There’s an old saying: “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you should do is stop digging.” Well, that’s where we are right now. We are in a hole and we need to stop digging. The facts are in. Climate change is real. Pollution is choking our seas. Ocean acidification threatens all of us.
Sportsmen everywhere are seeing the evidence of our natural world collapsing. Whether it’s the sudden and wholesale die-off of the flora and fauna, devastating droughts or unprecedented flooding, stronger storms or lighter snow pack, they are seeing it. But denial is rampant, especially in the posts of the fishing and hunting forums and the pages of conservative outdoor magazines. In their eyes, environmentalists are the problem, not the multitude of factors that are destroying our environment. They think “greenies” are determined on taking away their right to hunt and fish.
But the environmentalists are not without blame. In every group you will find the hardcores, the ones who seem to take things a little too far. And in the environmentalist movement, there are plenty of these people. They cast outdoors enthusiasts as bitter clingers, gun-loving, rightwing-nuts that only care about killing everything that moves. They cry bloody murder whenever they see someone has posted hunting photos on Facebook or whenever someone stands up for their Second Amendment rights.
It’s time to stop.
What we have to come back to is this: we all believe in preserving wild places. Now, how are we going to end all the squabbling and get it done? I’m no expert, but what I see is too much adherence to politics. This is a top to bottom problem, not a left-right one. We are being divided and conquered by the powers that be (PTB), and the sooner we come together for a solution the better.
Okay, rant over. I’ll step off my soapbox now.