Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Sportsmen: It's Always Been on Us

 comes this wonderful piece from Tod Tanner.  Not new, but new to me, and it's solid gold, which never wears out.

We seem, at least from where I sit, as if we don’t care all that much -- as if it’s only natural that the trout streams we fish will eventually run warm and brown, that our woodlots will give way before the rising tide of suburban development, that our wilderness areas, once pristine and untouched, will fall before the onslaught of roads and pipelines and well-heads, that our oh-so-vital wetlands will be drained and filled, that our farms will leach pesticides and herbicides and fertilizers into the gaping maw of oceanic dead zones, that we’ll pull apart our mountains for their coal and cast their broken bones down into the hollows of Appalachia as if our landscapes are mere detritus to be sorted through and discarded.

“Progress,” we call it. Progress, where we trade our outdoor heritage and our sporting traditions for the illusory benefits of comfort and convenience. Faust, were he here today, would surely look around and laugh, for his namesake bargain is the rule rather than the exception. It’s a devil’s pact, pure and simple - selling our souls, trading our kids’ future, worshipping at the altar of endless growth, turning our backs on Leopold and Pinchot and Roosevelt, and on the hard-earned wisdom of our fathers and grandfathers, ignoring the myriad lessons of American history while we embrace the soul-sucking siren song of modernity - all, I might add, so we can fill the shrieking emptiness inside with “more” and “bigger” and “faster” and “better.”

Let’s face it. We’re junkies, snorting conspicuous consumption and mainlining Madison Avenue, and it has to stop. It has to, if we’re going to hold on to the things that really matter.

When you think about it, none of this is complicated. If we want to save our tarpon, we need to get off our asses and fight. The same applies for our trout, and our salmon, and our bonefish, and our smallmouth bass. Nobody else gives a shit whether we’ll still have steelhead in 50 years. Nobody else cares if our snowpack melts away and our rivers run low and hot; nobody else gives a damn if ocean acidification renders our favorite saltwater fisheries bare of everything except an endless armada of jellyfish. It’s on us. Here’s a news flash: it’s always been on us.

Read the whole thing!

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