I recently rejoined the Sierra Club and soon there were two past issues of their official organ called, Sierra, in my mailbox. It's pretty good stuff, covering a wide range of issues from closure of coal-burning plants, pathogens in Christmas trees, off shore drilling, to animal welfare issues. The articles are informative but not too long, most run from 200 to 300 words. One can say that they are suggestive, but not exhaustive. Once your appetite has been stirred, if you really care, you can dig deeper on your own time. It's just a good fit. I would more likely enjoy a discussion with an intelligent friend over lunch than a 3-hour lecture by a wooden character in an auditorium
Speaking of animal welfare, in the November issue, it was reported that when the U.S. Fish & Wildlife proposed protecting the wintering manatees in the warm King's Bay in Florida by making the bay a manatee refuge, requiring boaters to reduce their speeds, the local Tea Party leader, Edna Mattos, said, "We cannot elevate Nature above people. That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights."
Wow. Are these people really that out of touch? First of all, I am very skeptical about people who champion less taxes and less social programs, believing they are money pits, and yet the good majority of them have taken out a government student loan or two during their lifetime. Just like in the case of animal welfare advocates who, on their off time, take their families and themselves to the zoo for some wholesome entertainment, there's a bit of hypocrisy going on there.
And since when did Nature fall beneath humankind? Have we not been reminded repeatedly, by a recent succession of natural disasters, that we are nothing compared to the power of Nature? Nature is always above humankind. Nature works without malice. Can we say the same about humankind? To posit that Nature should never be elevated above humankind is to insist that humans, little imperfect blobs of protoplasm that we are, are the center of the Universe. How ignorant.