Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Focus on the Big Picture

by Gregory Mayse

The debate rages on… Right versus Left, Greenies versus Corporations, Tree-huggers versus Profiteers. Which data - or adjusted data - are we to believe? One thing is for certain - Earth needs our help.

I have heard my share of passionate discussions, both in the national media and in the workplace. I really do not care where each person reading this chooses to stand on the subject of Global Warming, Climate Change or whatever you choose to call it.

As a photographer, I choose to look at the BIG picture on most things in life, and the question raised by looking at the Big picture is simple - Are we doing things to improve our environment and to protect the creatures who share our little rock that rotates around the sun?

What should matter to all of us is that if we do not continuously make a focused effort to preserve what we have, it will be increasingly difficult for us to survive on Earth. I am not talking about the sudden end of the world according to the Mayan calendar in 2012. I am talking about the continual destruction of our natural resources that we MUST have in order to survive. Do not turn your back on Mother Earth. Her natural ReSources are our only Sources.

When all of the rainforests have been logged, when our water is no longer safe to drink, when we have taken away the habitat and culture of all indigenous people as well as wild animals around the globe, then we may look back and ask “What were we fighting about back then?”

Is this really a political discussion? NO. It is simple. Do you want your children, grandchildren and their descendents to be able to appreciate the things in their lives that we may take for granted? Do you want your great-great grandchildren to grow up and look back at our generation and ask, “What were they thinking?”

The native cultures that were here in what we now call America held strongly to the belief of respecting the sustainability of Mother Earth for seven future generations. What if we dare to take on that philosophy once again? Do you believe we can survive with the global environmental damage being done by some of the planet’s major corporations and governments?

So next time you see an photograph of a polar bear leaping between floating icebergs, or the surviving indigenous people standing in a clear-cut area of their rainforest, don’t just brush it off as another one of those “environmentalist global warming photos.” Instead, let it remind you that everything is interconnected, that the planet as a whole, is a living organism that needs all of its parts to function healthily – there is value in every creature – every habitat – every culture.

We humans hold the power either to make our planet better or worse for future generations. The responsibility was somehow handed to us over the other animals of this planet. I’m not sure if this was the right decision. All I ask is that all of us FOCUS on the BIG PICTURE. If we don’t work hard to preserve our planet now, who will…and when?

Friday, December 11, 2009

A wall is a Wall

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ocean Solutions

Set to a backdrop of stunning photography from the International League of Conservation Photographers, leading marine scientists from Stanford and MBARI discuss the role of the ocean in cocean oceans climate change acidification iLCP Center for Ocean Solutions sea level rise Stanford University MBARI coral reefs global warming limate change and the potential impacts of a targeted 2C rise in global temperature. This is an iLCP media production in partnership with Center for Ocean Solutions. More o

Monday, December 7, 2009

What did you do today?

By Linda Helm

I just passed a person riding their bike to work this morning. No big deal, you say? OK. Add to this scenario that it’s Colorado, it’s 10 degrees or lower and there’s about 8 inches of fresh snow everywhere. The roads are plowed but chunky and icy and it’s really not even fun to drive your car in this weather. And here’s this person, so bundled up that gender is not apparent, helmet, hat, goggles, coveralls – head down, peddling furiously in the best tire track they can find, making their way to work.

I salute you, whoever you are. I also think you’re a bit masochistic and perhaps a borderline maniac – but I salute you anyway because just in that one act, you are doing more than I have done thus far today to help save the planet. To give myself credit, I did drive my Prius to work but honestly, I live close enough to walk if I really want to have zero impact.

The biker got me to thinking - What else could I have done before I walked out the door this morning?

1. Turned down the thermostat – we already keep it pretty low, but yes, I could have turned it down more.

2. I just realized I left the radio on – other than potentially deterring fictional burglars, what’s the good in that?

3. I could get rid of our 2nd fridge in the garage like I have been threatening to do for months now – it’s old, inefficient and very convenient to have over the holidays. But we could get by without it.

4. We have a little pond in our back yard with a waterfall that attracts birds – we have a heater in the water so that it does not freeze over and the birds and other wildlife have access to the water. Totally NOT necessary to their existence or mine. Will I give it up? Nope – not negotiable. It enhances my sanity quotient.

5. We did trade a disposable zip loc bag for a reuseable container to bring stuff to work this morning …… woo hoo!

So, what’s the point of this exercise? For me, it’s not to add to all the “should-haves and ought to’s” that frequently plague each of us to a certain degree. It is an attempt to start from where I am as a consumer and an inhabitant of a very small planet with finite resources and work to live in a higher state of mindfulness and respect for our planet and the other creatures I share it with. Am I the poster child for conservation? Heck no! Not even close! But I am working on it. I’m better at conservation practices than I used to be and I’ll keep getting better every day.

What did you do today to make a difference for the planet?

Linda Helm is VP of Fine Print Imaging and Art for Conservation. She's also a Mom, Grandma, Daughter, Wife and lover of nature. She can make a difference for the planet and for the future of her kids and grandkids by the choices she makes every single day. So can you.