Welcome from Audubon CEO David Yarnold

How could you not be fed up with the partisan gridlock that has completely polluted an idea as priceless as conservation?

The spin-obsessed suits in Congress and in statehouses across the country have turned conservation from the great unifier that it once was into a wedge used to divide Americans.

It’s driven Republicans – the party responsible for creating much of our national park and refuge systems and the Clean Air and Clean Water acts – to the margins of public debate over environmental concerns.

It’s even made some Democrats hesitant to get involved for fear they’ll be labeled tree-huggers.

It’s time to try something new; time for Americans to take the fight for clean air and water personally. What’s at stake? Just the health of our families, our communities and protecting lands for our birds and wildlife.

If you don’t want to think about this as a fight to save the planet, fine; this is a fight to save the neighborhoods where we live and the open spaces and waterways where we play and work. With 470 chapters and 50 educational centers across the nation, plus offices in 21 states and in D.C., the conservation organization I lead works in communities from Texas to Connecticut, from Wyoming to Florida. We’re not outsiders; we’re your neighbors.

And because we know that the status quo is broken, the National Audubon Society, one of the most trusted conservation brands in America, has joined with ConservAmerica, conservation-minded Republicans who aren’t afraid to care. Together, we’ve created something altogether new, the American Eagle Compact.

This compact soars above partisan politics. It’s a commitment to work together and to move beyond the politics that divide us: Common sense approaches to care of our wild spaces and waters, a strong commitment to future generations, and a shared love of nature. Whether, for you, that’s a neighborhood park or a place far from cell phone connections, we can all take this personally.

I invite you to sign on www.eaglecompactusa.org  and to join the conversation at American Eagle Compact blog here. Your ideas, suggestions and insights will help us give the next president—regardless of party—a people’s conservation agenda that transcends politics and partisanship.

Let’s get back to the point where a President can say: “Preservation of the environment is not a partisan challenge. It’s common sense.” That was President Ronald Reagan.

We need an atmosphere in which our political leaders can:

  • Confront the realities and threats of climate change in our communities and our states and make sensible decisions on how to deal with it.
  • Develop energy in smarter ways that balance our energy and job needs with safeguarding our air and waters and avoiding harm to sensitive landscapes, vulnerable birds and wildlife and the health of all Americans.
  • Preserve and protect our wild spaces for the benefit of people and wildlife.
  • Protect America’s birds and wildlife, keeping common species plentiful and protecting and restoring those species imperiled by human activity.

There is no question that Americans care about the environment. Love of the outdoors is not based on party labels. Outdoor recreation is the fastest growing pastime in America. A new U.S. Department of Interior survey shows that nearly 40 percent of all Americans hunt, fish or watch birds.

Conservation should not be an issue of the left or the right. It’s common sense. You can call it caring for your kids’ legacy, caring for creation, caring because you respect your neighbors — all of those reasons ring true. But please take the time to show you care by signing the compact at www.eaglecompactusa.org

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “Welcome from Audubon CEO David Yarnold

  1. Dave Brown

    Isn’t it ironic that the National Audubon Society, whose mission is primarily to protect birds, takes a pro-Green Energy stance but fails to mention that windmills kill more birds than other energy sources? What’s even more ironic on a blog called “Eagles Nest,” is that there’s no mention of the fact that windmills kill an average of 80 golden eagles per year according to a 2008 study of the wind farm at Altamont Pass, California. Here’s a link to the article “Windmills Are Killing Our Birds: One Standard for Oil Companies, Another for Green Energy Sources”:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203706604574376543308399048.html

  2. Barb

    I signed this compact because as an individual trying to speak up about saving our planet just seems hopeless. Joining thousands who really care about conservation and saving our wildlife (and ourselves) might actually make an impact on those who draw up some of the insane bills that strip the EPA of any power, strip the Endangered Species Act, push the Keystone XL Pipeline down our throats and worse yet allow Shell to set up oil rigs in the Arctic. It seems that these past few years all things that we’ve cherised our whole lives are being assaulted and destroyed. Politicians have to realize that our planet must not be the brunt of their arguments. We must save our planet before it is too late. We won’t get a second chance.

    • dj orr

      Well said! Thank you! I find it incredible that those who are in a position to make decisions that hurt our planet don’t understand that they put everyone in jeopardy, including them and their families. And, yes, as you clearly believe, it will come to our very survival at some point.

  3. dhricenak

    I am especially frustrated by politicians who want to roll back environmental protections in the name of job creation. This seems incredibly short sighted. We can’t have a healthy economy with a healthy environment to support it.

  4. We all breathe the same air and drink the same water, rich or poor or in-between. Let’s communicate and collaborate instead of acting like it’s black and white

    • Bholmes

      Absolutely. I have to share one of our esteemed 26th President’s many sentiments of the vital connection to nature conservation and the preservation of the American ideal.

      “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”
      – Confession of Faith Speech, Progressive National Convention, Chicago, IL, August 6, 1912

      Republicans, Democrats, and Independents should be able to reach common ground on farmland preservation, ecosystem conservation, battlefield preservation, and green economic principles. This is vital.

      • Dave Brown

        Mr. Holmes,
        The “Confession of Faith” speech to the Progressive National Convention in 1912 is aptly named because Theodore Roosevelt’s “Progressive” vision of what you call the “American ideal” is based on the “spiritual” idealism of Socialism, which is actually a secular religion. Roosevelt’s sermon-like speech to launch a “new party…of the people of the whole Union” wasn’t just about “nature conservation” but also about creating “social and economic justice.” He piously spoke for the “whole Union” when he proclaimed that “Our cause is based on the eternal principles of righteousness…We stand at Armageddon and battle for the Lord,” as if the Lord had somehow changed His mind and was now for the idea of creating “heaven on earth.”

        Earth is “common ground” for “Republicans, Democrats, and Independents,” as it is for people of all spiritual and political persuasions, so hopefully we can find a way to preserve its natural resources. But it will never be the Utopia that “Progressive” Socialists want. The Progressive Party’s “spiritual”-political platform was built with planks from the Socialist Party platform, so the Progressive/Socialist ideal is largely antithetical to the American ideal. Unlike collectivist idealism, the American ideal is the embodiment of the principles of individual freedom, relatively free markets, the Rule of Law, and limited government as defined in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. When Theodore Roosevelt talked about the need to “eliminate the middleman between producers and consumers,” instead of advocating the American ideal, he was an advocate for far-reaching economic interventionism that goes way beyond basic regulation of fraud, enforcement of contracts, and legitimate environmental regulations.

        “Caring for the environment” can be an expression of a real human need, or it can be divisive rhetoric intended to forward the “Progressive” Socialist agenda. “Progressive” Socialists march not only under the banner of American environmentalism, but also under the banner of global environmentalism directed by United Nations agencies, particularly the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Propaganda generated by the IPCC regarding the “settled science” of “climate change” and the supposed need to regulate CO 2 has apparently influenced the writers of the American Eagle Compact as is evident in this statement, “We need an atmosphere in which our political leaders can: Confront the realities and threats of climate change.” Evidently they agree that the “climate change” agenda is based on “settled science.”

        To further the notion that there’s a “consensus” about “climate change,” supposedly enlightened “Progressive” politicians use divide-and-conquer tactics to divide Republicans and Democrats and, thus, establish the moral high ground for themselves via spiritual-sounding “third party” or “non-partisan politics. These tactics have created a populist political “atmosphere” where political-correctness and group-think is the new norm. If anyone dares to disagree with the true-believers in the “settle science” of “global warming” or “climate change,” then they are treated like an infidel. People who believe that “climate change” is being caused by mankind should stop wheeling “environmental protection” as though it’s a “spiritual”-political sword. If the goal of the American Eagle Compact is to find “common ground” on ecosystem conservation and engage in honest dialog, then the divisive rhetoric demonizing “climate change deniers” or “merchants of doubt” needs to stop.

  5. It’s as simple as this: United we stand, divided we fall. And that applies to every aspect of our governing bodies. Compromise and working together are vital; pledges to vote against the other party, regardless of the issue or consequences are a fatal premise.

  6. Barry Ulman

    We have to abandon the concept of “Man versus Nature”. We are a part of nature whether you like it or not. Humans rely on the same things as wildlife: clean air, clean water, shelter, and a dependable food supply. When we destroy habitat and pollute the air and water, not only do we endanger wildlife but we endanger ourselves. And we must not ignore all the “free services” wildlife provides for us: the consumption of tons of insects by birds and bats, the consumption of tons of rodents by birds, mammals, and reptiles, pollination of plants by bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, filtration of water in forested streams . . . . . and the list goes on. If we humans want to survive, we must realize that we are a part of this vast web of nature, and we must do our part to keep this web intact.

  7. dj orr

    What’s to debate? It is so clear that the good health of our planet means the survival of the human race. Why is this so difficult to understand to those who chooses profit over good stewardship?

  8. Bill O'Halloran

    The blue marble concept says it best! When we see the earth from space as a tiny ship carrying the human race thru the cosmos, it is possible to see that resources are finite and that if we destroy the atmosphere, poison the land and water that we will destroy ourselves as well. Its frankly a no brainer to put conservation and stewardship of our planet first!

  9. francis mangels

    As a retired Usda Scientist, it’s about time we had a third party that saw the planet more important than all the other petty issues of morality. If mankind goes extinct, then who is left to argue about abortion, machine gun posession, God’s special attributes, sex, Mormonism, or what not? This is why the Romneyites and republicans are completely insane. Survival issues beats petty politics.

    Civilization has a very thin veneer, and conspicuous consumption will make it eat itself.

    Conclusion: You got only one planet, and there is no practical escape from its limits. Republican theory of unencumbered population and luxury growth and prosperity forever can’t go on. The only question left is whether we will have a catastrophic or soft landing when peak oil or climate change reality hits home.

    • Dave Brown

      Francis, adhominen attacks against “Romneyites and republicans” who are supposedly “completely insane” aptly illustrates my point that its not possible to have an honest debate with evangelical environmentalists who preach the gospel of “catastrophic” climate change.

      Furthermore, the talk about a “third party” that is supposedly above “petty politics” is just moralistic preening that masks a Leftist “one world” political agenda. I agree with MIT atmospheric scientist Dr. Lindzen, “controling carbon is kind of a bureacrat’s dream. If you control carbon, you control life.”

  10. Karin Crosby

    Caring A. Lot

    The real root of all the problems on this earth is OVERPOPULATION. We just do not have enough room, food, good water, etc. etc. for all these people. The doubling of the number occurs in ever shorter intervals. That is unsustainable. Everybody needs shelter, food and and and but there are many problems caused by this. E.g. the production of meat in this country takes as much clean water as the population needs and uses!!! Cows have a huge impact on global warming. We all have to learn to be more frugal, eat less meat (benefit: less cancer) no couple should have more than 2 children, (replacing themselves) be stewards to the earth and be less of a burden, animals have no vote and no papers of land ownership but by the sheer numbers we are pushing them to the brink.

  11. Benjamin Holmes

    An additional thought:

    Why not push for a value added tax (VAT) that would benefit land conservation and restoration programs? Even if it was just a five (5) cent fee on beer and “junk food” sales, we could raise tens of billions of dollars in a brief matter of time!

    A conservation VAT could also fund and sustain a revived Civilian Conservation Corps. My generation has generally eschewed the noble calling of civic duty, and I think that a CCC could serve as the basis of a new American national service for those aged 18-20. My generation has a severe disconnect from the Great Outdoors and the holistic principles of nature, and this could also boost their connection to the lands and wilderness of America. Conservation is patriotic.

  12. Benjamin Holmes

    Self-reliance in regards to food production should be a priority for this conservation pledge. I am concerned about the rapid pace of urban sprawl and the threat it poses to our food supply; the ability to feed oneself is intimately connected to freedom of both the nation and the individual. For a reality check on this matter, read any news article regarding famine and drought in the nations of Africa.

    I am a proud native of Maine, where there is a strong culture of community support for local food and small farms. Courtesy of the United States Navy and the American taxpayer, I am stationed out here in Southern California, where it is quite a different situation. Rapid growth, as in any metropolitan area, has devastated productive lands. I have not seen one farm since relocating here.

    Preserving farmland could also encourage economic opportunity. In each American city there are countless homeless Americans who are both sane and possess no criminal record. If farmland is fallow, why not send these poor individuals to work the land and learn new skills, while regaining a sense of self-worth. There is a therapeutic power and substantive dignity provided by good work.

    Just some thoughts from a regular citizen. God bless you folks and thank you for this noble initiative!

    • Southern California is unrecognizable from when I was growing up there in the 1960s. Then, there were bean fields, dairies, citrus orchards, and open fields within walking distance of my house. All are gone, replaced by pavement, roads, and development.

  13. Addie A.

    Dave’s opinion about the facts regarding climate change and its causes is unfortunate, from my perspective. (For anyone looking for an excellent book on the politicization of science, check out “Merchants of Doubt.”) However, rather than make the same tired arguments regarding climate change and what the scientific consensus is, why not consider the issue from an altogether different angle? In order to confront climate change, it’s true that we must increase efficiency and look for renewable sources of energy.

    BUT these steps are needed not only because of climate change, but for reasons that have nothing to do with it. We simply can’t keep drilling and mining to meet our energy needs. Whether it happens in 50 years or 100 or 200, we will run out of these resources, while wars and human suffering increase due to their scarcity and the environment bears the burden of the pollution associated with dirty energy. Working for renewable energy will address so many other problems that it makes no sense not to support these steps, regardless of one’s opinion about anthropogenic climate change.

    So, rather than continue to bicker and get nowhere, why not consider the other benefits and support the compact for those reasons?

    • Dave Brown

      Addie, my “unfortunate” opinion about man-caused “climate change” is no doubt antithetical to what the merchant of certainty are peddling in the name of “settled science.” I imagine you might put me in category of “climate change denier.” Since you directed readers of this blog to the book “Merchants of Doubt,” I will direct them to an article that could have aptly been named “Sceintists Revolt Against the Merchants of Certainty.” The actual name of the article (also mentioned in response to Jim) is “Sceintists Revolt Against Global Warming.” Here’s the link to it: http://www.americanthinker.com/2011/11/scientists_in_revolt_against_global_warming.html

  14. The importance of good environmental stewardship should not rise or fall depending on how one feels about any single issue, be it climate change or anything else. We can have honest disagreements about priorities, but that shouldn’t stand in the way of embracing the conservation values that are the basis of the many conservation accomplishments we Americans have made together.

    Regarding climate change, please note that uncertainty about it cuts in two directions. It’s possible the phenomenon might not play out as seriously as scientists think, but it’s also possible it might play out more seriously. It’s important to be mindful of that reality in objectively considering the facts and debating possible solutions.

    • Dave Brown

      Jim, I agree that good stewardship of the environment should not depend on one single isssue, which is why I spoke up about “climate change.” The so-called “settled science” of “climate change,” with its catastrophic predictions trumps resonable ideas of how to best protect the environment. Radical environmentalism under the banner of “global warming” or “climate change” is giving the environmental movement a bad name. And people like myself are tired of being labeled as a “denier” simply becuause we don’t fall in line with popular “scientific” opinon.

      If radical environmentalists didn’t already dominate public opinion, I would not be so concerned about signing The American Eagles Compact. But they do dominate the debate and silence decenting opinions. Do an Internet search and you can find well credentialed scientists who have written articles debunking man-caused “climate change.” Here’s a link to one such article:

  15. Dave Brown

    I want to sign The American Eagles Compact, but the wording that promises to “Confront the realities and threats of climate change” stops me from doing so. By using that wording, you are conceding the Left’s contention that “climate change” is a “real” environmental issue. There’s plenty of evidence to prove that mankind’s effect on “climate change” is so miniscule as to be practically non-existent. If you concede that “climate change” is a valid environmental issue, then you are in essense allowing Leftists to continue to hijack the environmental movement, which would be detrimental to having an honest debate.

    • This compact seems bigger than any single issue. It is about responsible stewardship and prudence, which are original conservative values. It is about the inherent love for the American landscape that we all share, the common desire for healthy air and clean water, the common-sense conservation of energy, and the value of wildlife for everyone from bird-watchers to hunters.

      As for climate change, the prudent approach is to do what Reagan did with the issue of ozone depletion. He listened to the experts (climate scientists), weighed the risks, and took prudent action to solve the problem (the Montreal Protocol Treaty phasing out CFCs). Ignoring the advice of those who study a topic for a living, be it a doctor, an auto mechanic, or a climate scientist is a risky proposition. As a conservative, I believe that a prerequisite for responsible policy-making is an unbiased examination of the facts, free of preconceived notions. Good stewards should be ready to act responsibly based on the best available information.

      As Reagan said: “preservation of our environment is not a partisan challenge; it’s common sense.” As such, we should all enthusiastically sign this inspired compact.

  16. Sann Knipple

    Thank you for attempting to break the gridlock by advocating for a common sense approach that can appeal to the nature-lover that lies in everyone! I am so frustrated by the winner-take-all attitude that has stopped any forward progress on issues. To achieve things that benefit us all, everyone has to give a little. I love spending time on our nation’s rivers; to keep them healthy will require everyone at the table to devise solutions to the challenges.

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