Passed by the USA Senate, May 21 will be Endangered Species Day this year. This will be the fifth annual Endangered Species Day in America.
The intention is to heighten awareness of species passing to extinction and to promote conservation worldwide.
And how might we do that? We need to consider doing things that will be effective and that will be embraced by large numbers of people. As never before conservation is now the politics of numbers. We need large numbers of people to engage on May 21 if this idea of an Endangered Species Day is to be meaningful.
So what might we do?
One thing that parents might consider is, beside their family name, giving a ‘nature name’ to each of their children. The child on growing up would hold this particular name as special to them and would want to see that this particular species is protected. Rather than people trying to understand ‘the environment’ or ‘habitat’ – by focusing on one species and getting to know the ways and the needs of their particular species children will come to know a lot about that species and what is needed if it is to survive. If hundreds of thousands engage with this simple idea – that way lies conservation.
Nature is in deep trouble and needs help. There is a quality in wilderness that allows great spiritual minds to discover there what they seek. It is puzzling therefore that the great religions of the world are largely silent on conservation issues.
The leaders of these great religions, whether they be Catholic, Jewish, Muslim or others, might like to debate this and agree, within their respective churches, to set aside one day of the year as a special day for nature conservation. On such a day they would talk to their millions of followers on the need to conserve species. I would ask church leaders to debate this idea among themselves. We need your help.
Poverty in underdeveloped countries is driving species to extinction. The super rich in America and elsewhere might follow the extraordinary example of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett and others in giving millions of dollars away for the benefit of those who have little. Alleviating poverty in such countries can take the pressure off endangered species. The extraordinary rich might wish to consider this.
These three proposals, among others, are elaborated upon in much greater detail in the book Planet Dancing.
At this stage we really do need to think outside the box of conventional conservation thinking if we are to be effective in conserving species. we now need a world conservation ethic towards nature. Planet Dancing attempts to set down a blueprint on how we might best do this.
Best wishes to all on May 21.