By Jason Beale
In his 1911 book, “My First Summer in the Sierras”, John Muir wrote, “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” While many indigenous peoples have long had these views embedded in their culture, our scientific understanding of this concept lagged by thousands of years. As our understanding of ecology grows, our challenge is to turn this knowledge into action.
We see examples of natural systems out of balance daily through the news and social media in the form of catastrophic floods or fires, zoonotic diseases like the COVID-19, or increasingly aberrant weather patterns that threaten agricultural productivity. All of these have associated human costs that remind us that the thin veneer between “modern civilization” and the natural world can collapse suddenly and spectacularly.
Solving these human problems, or perhaps more appropriately, restoring ecological systems, is the challenge of our times. Growing up in a family of small business owners, I often heard about “American Ingenuity” and the time is now for us to embrace that can do spirit that can put a human on the moon and apply it to our own backyards and communities. We currently have more knowledge, understanding, and creativity available to us than any time in human history. If we approach these issues with humility and ensuring that our increasingly diverse communities have a seat at the table, these overwhelming global issues become local and addressable.
As the Pennsylvania House of Representatives prepares to close their session until September, we have the chance to connect communities and wildlife by making our voices heard from throughout the commonwealth in support of House Resolution 670: Conservation Corridors (learn more about how conservation corridors work here).
You can get involved from anywhere in Pennsylvania Thursday, June 11, 2020 by joining “Connecting Wildlife/Connecting Communities: A Panel on Wildlife Corridors in Pennsylvania” on Zoom. Click here to learn more.