I wanted to take just a few lines to express my opinion about this current
situation where an Ecuadorean orchid dealer is being railroaded into destruction
by the government using an indited felon as a snitch in a bait situation.
The one message that came across was with such venom and anger and conviction
about what is going on in the wild and conservation, and right and wrong..
Perhaps if those who are so sure of their point of view might read, Orchid
Fever by Eric Hansen, they might get a more realistic point of view
of what truly is going on. Those of us who have been out there for many
years seeing what is happening to nature by the individual governments
and populations, know that road construction, lumber production, money
and power are the issues at hand. All of us would like to see nature preserved,
but in all reality, that is not going to be. All of that said, I can accept
that efforts be made to help save nature. Such efforts must take into consideration
that the governments of areas and the people must do their part to save
what is being burned, cut down, paved over, damned, etc. If not so, then
no matter what efforts are made, little will be achieved.
Now, for one who does not know all of the facts to condemn a man perhaps
for nothing or at worst, for having make a bad decision, is to me,
rather like putting oneself in the glass house praying that no one throws
a stone. God forbid one should admit they have never made a decision at
some point that they have not regretted later on. I cannot tell you if
what this person did or did not do is legal or not, but for someone to
take such a vehement attitude without the facts, to me, is questionable.
WE live in a country where such opinions are to be respected, and I do.
I might hope also that before we condemn, we might walk a mile in the shoes
of another in order that we be blessed with understanding and tolerance.
Perhaps just a bit of compassion might temper ones strong tones. No problem
with disagreeing, just remember, but for the Grace of God, anyone of us
might be walking this straight line of intolerance.
If you choose to see CITES as the answer to saving nature, fine. I suggest
you immerse yourself in the jungle for just a few days and hear the chain
saws bellowing their sounds as the thunderous rumble of falling trees echoes
in the near realm, or walk down roads layered with gummy slippery crude
oil, or see your reflection in the waters of a hydroelectric dam
and dream of the plants that once existed where man demanded power, or
wander out from underneath the coolness and protection of the jungle canopy
into the stifling stench and heat of its absence, or walk down a tropical
road with nothing to be seen but a few palms and grasser see streams with
oil slicks floating by in waters once pristine with black water, or
just listen to nature as the big trucks rumble past with their black exhaust
billowing into the sky and wonder what CITES saved in the big picture of
money and power and control. All I ask you to do is be more informed, more
tolerant, and more understanding. It all is a choice and it begins with
each of us.