As the elections of 2014 approach, I have a question for you. Are you a hawk or a dove?
Hawks are vigilant, passionate and protective. They tackle problems head-on and advocate for strong, direct action. That’s true across the board, whether we’re talking about military hawks, fiscal hawks, foreign policy hawks, deficit hawks or conservation hawks.
Doves usually fly in the other direction. They’d rather discuss a problem than do something concrete about it. They want to study a situation, and then, once they’ve studied it, study it some more. They’re worried about the possible consequences of their actions, and they almost always favor a more passive approach.
Hawks feel they have a real stake in the fight. They want to protect our country, our way of life, our American heritage, and our kids and grandkids. They’re conservatives in the true sense of the word. Our most famous conservationists were all hawks - Aldo Leopold, George Grinnell, Theodore Roosevelt ...
History hasn’t treated doves so kindly. One of the 20th century’s most famous doves - Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime minister who attempted to appease Nazi Germany - was followed by an equally famous hawk, Sir Winston Churchill, who led the fight against Hitler’s war machine and told England, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." Churchill is considered one of the 20th Century’s great leaders. Chamberlain remains viewed as one of its worst.
And now we find ourselves drawing lines in the sand yet again. On one side are the doves who tell us that climate change will not destroy our landscapes and our fisheries. Or if there is a climate problem, we’re not responsible for it. Or if we are responsible, there’s nothing we can do. Whatever the case, climate change needs more study and more discussion before we can even think about addressing it.
On the other side are the hawks. Hawks recognize that the threat from climate change is real, that the science is solid, and that it’s our sacred duty to defend our sporting heritage and pass on our trout streams, steelhead rivers and bonefish flats to future generations. Furthermore, hawks understand the true nature of this fight. Climate change is a moral issue, and those of us fighting for our future and our kids and grandkids will always hold the high ground.
So here’s the question of the day. Where do you stand? Are you a climate hawk or a climate dove?
And just as importantly, who will you vote for this November? Will you cast your ballot for the climate hawks who are pledged to defend America and protect our fisheries? Or will you stand with the climate doves who are too timid and unprincipled to safeguard our children?
Our future is at risk. The threat from climate change looms over America. It’s time to choose. Are you a hawk or a dove?