That same day, I listened to an interview with a fisherman in Alaska. When this gentlemen tells people that he is with Trout Unlimited, people respond, "What are you? An environmentalist?" To which he responds (paraphrasing), "No. I'm a conservationist. I want to protect the fish so that I can kill them and keep killing them for years to come."
Have "climate change" and "environmentalism" become so polarizing as to be counterproductive? Certainly, we cannot ignore that climate change is happening but, instead of arguing with those who disbelieve global warming, would we be better off looking for common ground?
Last year, in an election that was a bloodbath for the environmental movement, voters passed a record amount of funding for local conservation efforts. Conservation is an issue that crosses party lines.
Do we build bridges based on conservation, reduced pollution, clean air and water? Do we start conversations about preserving farmland by supporting local farmers or bolstering main street by shopping at locally owned stores? Do we talk, not about climate change, but about how water conservation efforts and native plants can help with the drought? Do we talk about all the money we save through energy efficiency? Can enough environmental progress be made in this way or is it too late for those kinds of bridges?
What do you think? Do you have close friends or family members who do not believe that global warming is occurring? Do you find common ground or just avoid the topic entirely?