22 September 2012

The Center of it All

It's funny how a certain idea or topic will pop up in a number of places all around the same time.

Taylor's checkerspot
The idea I've been running into a lot in the last couple of days is that solving our problems requires people from seemingly different walks of life and perspectives coming together.

On Thursday night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, President Bill Clinton talked about how his Clinton Global Initiative focuses on finding solutions by identifying the different strengths people have and putting them in the same room. Many of these solutions revolve around environmental issues.

Then, this morning, I read an article from the National Wildlife Federation about programs that unite conservation groups, communities, and local farms. These programs emphasize both conservation and local buying and commerce. By working together, people address many problems and strengthen the health of their communities and local environment.

Oregon spotted frog
Finally, tonight, I came across a Huffington Post article about prison inmates in Washington state helping endangered species. The story would be great even if it only involved the inmates and the endangered species, including the Taylor's checkerspot and the Oregon spotted frog. However, it's so much more than that. It involves the military, some institutions of higher learning, the Oregon Zoo, nonprofit groups, the National Science Foundation, and many agencies, and they are all working together to address species' population declines.

These are the kinds of things that we are capable of if we look past our self-imposed limitations and barriers. They make for a better world and stronger communities, and at the heart of it all, we find a stronger commitment to the environment.

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