It’s time for me to come out of the closet!
Sorry family and friends but I have to admit it: I’m an environmentalist (shock, gasp, horrors!!). I like polar bears, and white rhinos, and rain forests, and pristine oceans, and fresh drinking water. I want my future grandchildren to be able to see real wild animals – alive and in the wild. I’m not sure how or when caring about the environment permanently relegated someone to the pinko, commie, liberal, tree-hugger (Democrat?) club. What’s really interesting is that a lot of my “conservative” (anti-tree-hugger) friends hunt and fish. They pay for licenses that support conservation programs; they pay thousands of dollars to private duck/fishing clubs that create and maintain wetlands; and they pass down the value of nature conservancy to their children. But, if I called them environmentalists, they would probably sock me in the nose. So how did “environmentalist” become a dirty word? I think that at some point in the past, a very crafty PR person working on behalf of a business interest floated the idea that environmentalists were anti-business, and it stuck. The organized environmental community didn’t help itself either. For example, did they have NFL cheerleaders or handsome actors live in the trees to prevent logging? Noooo, they picked the scrappiest looking long-haired hippie people (thank you again Bob Dylan) with names like “leaf” and “wood nymph” to be the face of the movement. Just think how different the world would be if instead of “tree-hugger”, environmentalists were known as “smoking hot nature warriors.” Who knows, it might have made a difference.