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A hope note

To convolute an old saying, ‘The more things stay the same, the more they change.’
We may be a little like the frog in the pot of water, unaware that the water’s heating up until it’s everlastingly too late. Tectonic plates may be shifting beneath us, but we’re unaware of it until historians later tell us what happened while we slept.
Take the bison. In Thomas Jefferson’s time, as many as 60 million bison roamed the Great Plains. In a few decades, settlers had brought them to the edge of extinction.
Jefferson would have been just as incredulous had someone predicted that passenger pigeons in 100 years would be no more. In his day, flocks became so large, according to Princeton ecologist David S. Wilcove, that ‘they were capable of obscuring the sun for days on end, casting an eerie twilight over the land.’ Human exploitation for food and sport resulted in no passenger pigeons after 1914, when the last one died in the Cincinnati Zoo.
I attended the opening high school football game in my little Tennessee hometown last week. I couldn’t get over how large the players were. I compared the roster with our roster 50 years ago when I played. We had one player over 200 pounds. The 2008 team has 15 players over 200 pounds and two over 300 pounds. There are probably several explanations, but one surely is the obesity epidemic in our land, which we heard little about until a few years ago.
How are we, like the frog, oblivious to irreparable harm being done to ourselves and our world?
Native Americans believed in making decisions that would result in a sustainable world seven generations out. How are we doing as stewards of the earth? When is it time to stand up and holler?

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