Recent news and debates about climate change spawned a few thoughts. I’m an independent thinker politically—a strange creature in today’s polarized world. Let me add that people have tried to pin me to a political philosophy and failed miserably. I like it better that way.

I enjoy communicating with everyone and finding common ground in a society subdivided by political parties, class, gender, religion and race. I worry people, it’s been my talent since middle school.   

I asked a few questions this week and I was surprised and slightly encouraged with the opinions that bounced back. 

Here are the questions: Can we improve the environment without using it as a political power play? 

Can we ALL seek and accept factual data from scientists without bias?

Is it possible for the mass media to report fairly? 

Can we seek solutions personally and locally before we try to change a climate? 

Can the left stop using environmentalism to gain governmental control? 

Can the right grow a heart and see that our environment can be protected and preserved? 

Why can’t conservatives incorporate environmentalism into their platform too?  Why are they largely hell-bent on either not discussing the issue or denying it?   

Can businesses see the value in clean air, waterways, and soil? 

Don’t we ALL need to call out the sideshows our government indulges in?  

Should countries be prevented from development? Is that fair? Why do select countries get a pass? Who is worthy of clean water? Electricity? Free Wi-Fi? Craft breweries? Vaccines?  

Do you think a dying bee or a malnourished rockfish cares whether you vote Democrat or Republican? I bet they would rather just live, maybe not starve. Omega Protein doesn’t care about exceeding catch quotas of menhaden and Virginia’s state government lets them keep on rolling in the nets. 

Fish pills, fertilizer and fish food sure are fun to catch. Future generations would rather catch a rockfish. 

How about a few points we can ALL agree on? 

Environmentalism should include all--not just liberals. Pro-environment conservatives exist, but are encountered as frequently as the Loch Ness monster, according to my liberal friends.  

Science should be believed--but we should verify its findings and results without interference from political, business or government sectors. 

Liberals are being driven insane by President Donald J. Trump. One must understand that he is a New Yorker, which makes it tough for lots of people (sorry to the New Yorkers I know and like). We’ve heard it before… with an accent. Everything is the best there... and not here. They are geniuses and tough guys. Their bagels are better, their pizza is the best, they wear big ties and they never wave anything except a finger when driving.      

What about Greta Thunberg? She does have a point. Give her some credit, most teens would dodge a speech to the United Nations. Most resemble a type of cicada that emerges (at some point in adulthood hopefully) from dark rooms to mate and eat pizza. 

Greta and the children of the world have many things to be worried about--the environment, economy, the fiscal fantasies of politicians, pollution, leadership of Baby-Boomers, over-harvesting of fish, remakes of classic films, war, famine, religious extremism, clean water, deforestation, mosquitoes, Area 51, and the odd, angry, asteroid of the apocalypse. Cut Greta some slack. No, she doesn’t closely resemble Veruca Salt from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—you snarky, non-conforming, libertarian meme artists! 

This brings me to civility. We need to hear each other out in a civil manner. There are lots of ignorant people trying to speak for all of us. Lots of liberals treated me like a captured Bigfoot for saying there are conservatives who want to improve and preserve the natural world. Didn’t conservatives advocate for saving our wildlands in the past? 

The press needs to stick to the facts and use a couple named sources to verify all stories. Crazy, right?  

The world might survive humanity, maybe it won't. We will have to adapt, work together or perish.

If warming brings the ocean closer to my house will I be able to catch tarpon and bonefish locally? 

I want bees, more leaping smallmouth bass and big healthy rockfish. 

We might all disagree and never find a solution, or we might be smarter and more effective than Congress or the United Nations. It’s time to grow up and work together again folks.


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