By Bob Ferris
I had a thought yesterday as I was digging out some invading privet roots from a flower bed in my yard:
Science—particularly natural or conservation science—is not a point to be promoted or exploited but rather a spectrum to be absorbed, appreciated and understood.
It strikes me that this is true whether you are talking about Yellowstone wolves and elk or climate change. Some people get this, can climb above the hub-bub and see the big picture, but far too many cannot. Those who cannot tend to wrap personal theory tightly around events like a cougar kill or big snows that comport with their views without taking time to examine them at different scales and contexts. They truly miss the wonder of it all.
Too abstract? Exactly my point. Looking only at these events, single or select points, and shortened segments of graphs is too abstract. Think about it as trying to gain some insight into a pointillist painting by examining an individual blue blob of paint. Certainly the patch of color tells us something about the painter, the paint and style, but not much about the true impact of that blotch, its relationship to other blotches, and the context of it all in the larger and unfolding picture.
It is important to take time to look at the blotches in our lives, landscapes, and skies but please also take time to absorb, appreciate and understand the entire spectrum of these natural phenomenon. The big picture that emerges is truely as spectacular as the bits and pieces that work together to create it. (And thanks to Georges Seurat–or at least his art– for helping me with this blog)