Sobering, insightful, inspiring, and transformative are just a few of the words that I would use to describe my first-time experience at the NAL conference in February. It’s impossible to distill all that we learned there, but these are some of the highlights:
- Climate change is real and irrefutable. Do not waste your time trying to convince the deniers. Instead, focus on the “squishy middle.”
- Can we achieve a world where people and nature thrive? Yes, if we change now.
- Hope lives at the State and corporate level.
- Letters and calls matter!
- Environmental protection and economic growth are compatible.
- Ignorance and indifference are our biggest enemies.
- Nature is non-partisan (when did it become a democrat?).
- Land ownership is more than a privilege, it’s a responsibility.
On our last evening, we listened to a fascinating talk by Scott Wiedensaul, author of Living on the Wind and a world-renowned expert on bird migrations. He gave the audience two easy, actions that, if we adopted, would change the future for many species of migratory birds. Those actions: buy recyclable paper products whenever possible to help lower the logging pressure on Canada’s Boreal forests, and buy Smithsonian-certified, “Bird-Friendly” coffee that is from shade-grown coffee plantations. These coffee farms are both economically sustainable and will help preserve the environment for migrating birds.