October 13, 2003

By Michael Strickland

Owls and Jobs

Those of you familiar with my politics—which includes anyone who has spent any amount of time reading my many political rants on this site—will find the following editorial amusing. I wrote it as an idealistic, hopeful college student, before the cold reality of modern society jaded me forever. Though my position as editor-in-chief of The Cuestonian afforded me a soapbox and lots of eyeballs, it was not the first time—nor was it the last, as The Daily Strick proves—I had a captive audience. Read on to get a glimpse of the early days of the Strickland rant. And I'd be interested in hearing your reaction to my position, as this one generated lots of Letters to the Editor when it first ran.

Are Jobs More Important Than Owls?
The Cuestonian, September 29, 1992

Many issues weigh on the minds of voters as Election Day '92 draws near. The economy, the health care system and education are all in sad shape. The specter of AIDS looms larger every day. And while the candidates bandy about family values, draft evasions and the proper spelling of a common legume, the environment decays further and further.

As public knowledge of the state of our planet grows, one would think that awareness and concern would grow proportionally. While in large part this may be true, I was shocked to see on television recently a right-wing extremist group that call themselves [sic] the "Sahara Club."

This militant band of off-road enthusiasts believes that there is no such thing as global warming and that the ozone hole is a fantasy dreamed up by environmentalists to scare the American public. They further contend that 90 to 95 percent of what one hears about environmental disasters is "bull."

Normally, I would give these zealots no more than a chuckle and a passing glance. But what scares me is that they claim over three million members nationwide, and they are not the only group out there with such beliefs.

The "Sahara Club" was formed because its members were upset over legislation that limited the areas in which they could operate their off-road vehicles. It is human selfishness such as this which may undermine the entire environmental movement.

Just two weeks ago, President Bush uttered the most offensive statement I have ever heard: "It's time to make humans more important than owls." He referred to the controversy surrounding the banning of logging in spotted owl habitats. Incidentally, the so-called "God Squad" committee assigned to reevaluate this ban has since compromised by allowing logging in 25 percent of these dwindling habitats.

Do we really have the right to make ourselves more important than these endangered animals? Does the human race really have the moral authority to cause the extinction of a species just to save a few thousand jobs? It saddens me to live in a country where such ignorance exists.

After all, those loggers and their families can move, can retrain for other jobs. This would be difficult, of course, especially in the current economic climate. But what can those owls do? They have nowhere to go. Their fate is in our hands.

As November 3 rolls around, please do more than simply vote.

Vote your conscience.


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

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October Columns:

10/31: Halloween's History
10/30: Good GDP, Still No Jobs
10/29: Disaster
10/27: Ash Monday
10/26: En Fuego
10/25: Diving in the Desert
10/24: Dead Car Canyon
10/23: Reflections
10/21: Le Métro
10/20: Pain
10/17: Jury Duty
10/15: Labor Pains
10/14: The Business of Losing
10/13: Owls and Jobs
10/12: Hooked
10/11: The "S" in SUV
10/9: Flee the City
10/8: Sore Losers
10/5: Turkeys
10/4: It's Not the Economy, Stupid
10/2: Focus
10/1: Twenty Years
Previous months in The Archive

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