Politics 101

Image Attribution: Gage Skidmore

As an aspiring ecowarrior, it shouldn’t surprise me to see political posts and tweets. It also shouldn’t surprise me to see futile efforts.

I only recently started picking up other people’s trash from the seafloor. That’s because I only recently started scuba diving. Obviously, there are groups and organizations that have been around for a long time and that have more ambitious agendas. 

However, some of what I see looks unproductive, and potentially counter-productive.

Here is some background. I used to be very involved in politics. I was mostly active at the local level, but I dabbled higher up. I was even elected to what is probably the lowest possible public office. But, it counts. Also, I was appointed to a rather prestigious Committee Chairpersonship. 

Most importantly, I have a 100% win record working on political campaigns. You make political friends that way.

The purpose of this blog post is to convey that you can accomplish far more working with the powers that be, than by working against them. There is a huge difference between standing at a public meeting opposite the decision makers and sitting at a dinner table next to the decision makers.

For example, I had a friend who had an issue with the local government. She stood at a microphone at a public meeting opposite one of the Township’s committees. The result? Frustration. It came up in conversation one day, and so I called the Committee Chairperson on his personal cellphone. We spoke as friends. I got details about the issue and a suggested path forward. I submit to you that my friendly phone call was far more productive than the confrontational public meeting. Can we all agree on that?

If so… Here. We. Go.

Don Trump Jr is an avid hunter and fisherman. He is both adventurous and younger than I am. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that he might be amenable to scuba diving.

If someone introduces Don Trump Jr to scuba diving, there will be a new ecowarrior with the ear of the President of the United States.

Why can we assume that? No hunter wants to see hunting habitats destroyed. No hunting habitats means no more hunting. No fisher wants to see fishing habitats destroyed. No fishing habitats means no more fishing. 

No scuba diver wants to see dive sites destroyed. We need coral gardens to dive through. We need little fish to keep the corals healthy. We need sharks to keep the large fish from eating these little fish. We need sea turtles and whale sharks to swim alongside. But, if you’re still reading this I am preaching to the choir.

Out of the President’s inner circle, admittedly without doing any serious research, his eldest son seems to be the most likely future scuba diver. Introduce him to conservation the exact same way you and I got introduced to it.

I guarantee that having Don Jr talking to his father about saving our oceans will be significantly more effective than sharing anything negative about the Trump administration on social media.

If it makes you feel better, go ahead and vent on your personal Facebook page. But, remember this: conservation will require conversation.

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