There’s a lot of bad news for print publications these days and I received some more in my inbox yesterday. Wildlife Conservation Magazine, which is a wonderful glossy that is published by the Wildlife Conservation Society (which also runs the newly updated and totally awesome Bronx Zoo) is folding. It’s not going to Web only. It’s just shutting its doors. The two most senior editors there are both taking early retirement.
I’ve written three stories for them, one which may never see the light of day. And I read the magazine from cover to cover when it comes in the mail. My brother and his family are members of the Bronx Zoo and go there all the time.
It’s sad for me personally but more importantly for the reading public. Writers interested in the environment are losing a great outlet, the magazine world is losing a great magazine, and those who champion wildlife are also losing a great source of information and inspiration.
For the most part, though, I see the economic downturn as a potentially good thing for wildlife worldwide. If fewer people are driving and fewer people are buying new cars, perhaps we as humans will start causing less pollution and environmental degradation.
If we start turning the lights off and stop throwing everything away in this throw-away-who-cares-about-the-landfills-overflowing culture, non-human animals may stop seeing the destruction of their habitat as quickly as they have been.
So much of the current environmental problems are caused by human excess, overpopulation, and an insouciant attitude about our own actions. We pollute, we throw away, we shit and vomit on the earth and we mistakenly believe these actions have no consequence.
My mother, who is a microbiologist of world renown, doesn’t care as much about humans as about bacteria and other microorganisms. She’s as confident that they will continue to survive as she is that we humans will pollute ourselves out of existence.
I don’t want to see that happen. I don’t want human life to become extinct.
But I would like to see an end to these disgusting excesses and the rampant greed that continues, even now, during hard economic times.
So, shut the fucking lights off when you leave the room. Get your fat ass on your bicycle or walk next time you go to work or the grocery store. Buy your clothes used or, better yet, don’t buy any clothes at all.
If it takes an economic crisis and the folding of great magazines like Wildlife Conservation Magazine to wake us up in America, perhaps everything that’s happening to the worldwide economy is happening for a reason.