Thursday, November 20, 2008

How will the economy affect conservation?

As we are all aware of by now, the slumping world economy is affecting every area of business. I fear that this is now starting to include the business of conservation. How can conservation be justified when so many people are out of work and there are many who are barely scraping by? Is conservation a luxury of only the wealthy? I am not an economist and I don't pretend to fully grasp all of the workings of government or the means which it takes to run one. However, I am certain that we still remain -good times or bad times- in a critical environmental juncture and that these are issues that we truly cannot afford to ignore anymore.

So, the question still stands then, how can conservation initiatives still move forward without detracting from all of the families who are being effected by the financial meltdown? I am certain that I don't have any kind of definitive answer. One thing that I do believe, though, is that there are still luxuries that we as Americans (and I certainly include myself in this generalization) are unwilling to give up. I'm afraid that if we don't continue to address climate change and species loss aggressively we may find ourselves –in the very near future– in a much more serious situation which requires a closer examination of such things.

This next year will be financially trying for nearly everyone. I hope that with a new administration, and efforts that are being made to ease the markets, things will get better sooner rather than later. However, when the markets once again go on the rise we will still be left facing a multitude of plants, animals and habitats to whom no bail-out has been given and whose only option is to rely on the importance that Homo sapiens places on their continued existence. Let's hope that we make the right decision.

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