What will it take? How many bells must sound before we awake? How many more years can we push the snooze button before we are late…late for our date with the ‘point of no return’? Bells have been clanging in our ears, the polar ice caps are melting, flooding and heat waves like never before, tornadoes, typhoons, tsunami, and earthquakes. Pandas, polar bears, tigers, sharks, and many more species are on the verge of extinction. Overpopulation, lack of clean water, holes in the ozone, and the build up of greenhouse gases. What the F**K are we doing? Can’t we take a hint???

The world has been through worse and rebounded…but we have not and cannot. Perhaps it is too late. “Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Just what do I think that we should do? Everyone is entitled to the “American Dream” right. Two cars, a house, 2.3 kids, and yet there will be 1.5 billion Chinese in 25 years that all want to have their own car. To do so, they would consume 90 million barrels of oil a day, currently we only produce 87 million barrels. I’m just as guilty as anyone.

I’ve owned cars. I’ve driven all over, flown all over, and own everything imaginable made from plastic. My tent for this trip, my sleeping bag, the cart, and even the very shoes I will wear are all made from plastic and nylon…made from oil. I wipe my butt with trees just like the next guy. I drink water from the tap, that comes from a dam, the cuts off the salmon run, but provides the energy for this very laptop. Would we be any better off if we were all still burning wood for heat? Think of the carbon footprint of that!!!

The population of the Earth must decrease, so that the available resources can be more equitably shared. But, who is to decide who lives and who dies? Will I volunteer, will you?

Giant herds of elk, deer, bison, and other animals formerly roamed Oregon. Moose, Bears, Wolves, and Mountain Lions are all but gone. A Moose or a wolf have not been found here since the 1900’s. We killed them all. I went to a store today called Cabela’s. It is the largest and oldest hunting outfitter in the US. Adorning the walls and displays of the store are close to 50 full size taxidermied animals. Bears, Moose, deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, otters, squirrels, beavers, porcupines, elk, wolves, and coyote to name a few. All beautiful, all dead. I went today to draw these dead animals.

I’m guilty. I’ve been hunting…I wasn’t successful, but had a deer presented itself, I would have put a bullet through its brain 20 years ago. I was the most avid spearfisherman you have ever met, and although I always ate all that I caught, it wasn’t the eating the was the main draw, it was the love of the water and the challenge. I love the taste of venison too. I can and have eaten pounds of it in a single sitting. But today, I’m hearing the bells.

The alarm is clanging, and I believe the time to act is now. Perhaps some more major things need to happen before we course correct. Only we can prevent our demise and those of the tiger. It took an asteroid to end the dinosaurs, all it will take us is lack of action.

 

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