Fishing with Dad

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?


There are no room for doves in this fight.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is dispensing with reason and discarding the future of their children and children's children in defense of a malformed, broken ideology that speaks against their own self interests.

You're spot on. It's one thing when avarice & stupidity are locked in a room with all their friends, and the only danger is to the folks who open the door and wander inside. It's something else entirely when our kids and our grandkids are at risk because avarice and ignorance are hailed as conquering heroes and celebrated in our schools and the halls of Congress.

Sorry I think you have the term dove very poorly expressed. It doesn't mean appeasement and inaction. It refers to a desired to discuss and understand an issue in the hopes of finding a constructive solution.

Being a hawk can be a destructive reactionary position to take since it assumes your view is 100% correct and your plan of attack is the only legitimate one.

When was the last time that worked on an issue as complex as how to protect the environment and keep our economies healthy?

I'd argue never.

Being passionate is great, but that's not the sole domain of hawks nor does being willing to listen and consider mutually beneficial solutions mean you don't give a $hit.



Our future is at risk. Further polarization like that which Todd Tanner spews from atop his "moral" high ground is detrimental to the cause of conservation. Climate change belief or skepticism does not determine if a person can be concerned about our environment, it is simply not mutually exclusive.

Todd would have you believe that, and its just not the case. If he would like to advance the cause of conservation, he should seek to find consensus where it can be reached and not treat such multifaceted issue so simply and divisively.

Hopefully he'll learn, sooner rather than later, that an extended hand bridges a divide better than a closed fist.

I have my doubts, as he won't recognize the dove's softer song.

Larry - like Todd's point or don't, but at least he's delivered a message. Your comment above literally says nothing, other than softly implying that peaceful debate and thoughtful consideration of the way scientific facts are interpreted is the best avenue.

This, of course, is complete nonsense. Facts are facts, debating them is useless action.

Maybe less creative language would be more helpful to your understanding. The take home message is dumbly simple:

There's no time for fucking around. None. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

I'm having no issue understanding the histrionic ravings that Todd makes. Thanks for the concern. His argument is merely an insult cloaked in prose.

Facts. Yeah.

I'll continue supporting conservation, just not your (whomever you are) brand of hysteria.

Not to worry, I'll be OK without your approval.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts. A couple questions, if you don't mind.

You characterize yourself as a dove. Yet unlike Vik, who offered a thoughtful, considered response up above, you immediately took the gloves off.

"Further polarization like that which Todd Tanner spews from atop his 'moral' high ground is detrimental to the cause of conservation."

"Todd would have you believe that, and its just not the case."

"I'm having no issue understanding the histrionic ravings that Todd makes."

"His argument is merely an insult cloaked in prose."

I have a hard time believing that a real dove would say any of those things. So question #1. Do you see the inherent contradiction between the label you've chosen for yourself and the comments you made?

Question #2. I'm not offended by your insults, but I am curious about what, specifically, rubbed you the wrong way. Do you feel that I unfairly maligned doves? Are you a global warming denier who'd rather not get called out for putting our kids and our fisheries at risk? Or is it something else entirely?

I have a pretty good feel for the answers, but I'd love to hear your response.


Ginkthefly - when you make the message that dumbly simple, then you have only two responses:
1. Take full personal responsibility for your own carbon footprint and your contribution to the problem. No more air travel, fabricate your own hooks instead of supporting heavy industries like the steel industry, and maybe consider not fishing at all, to give the fisheries a chance to recover. Don't pretend that it's going to be someone else that has to make all the sacrifice.
2. Outsource your tough decisions to whatever politician promises to be more hawkish on your behalf. And, since Todd first broached Goodwin's law by raising the stakes to Churchill vs. Hitler, I may as well point out that Hitler was the hawk that convinced the German people that the doves were the ones that sold out the country at the end of WW1.
Be careful which hawk that you wish for. They can exploit your passion to shut down reasonable engagement.

The idea that there is even an inkling of debate on the validity of man-made climate change is just not even worthy of discussion, but I am always amazed by how this line of though has persisted. There is zero debate that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. There is zero debate that we are drastically increasing the % of that Co2 in the atmosphere. It is therefore easy to see the direct correlation that increased Co2 equals increased warming. We are essentially digging up the carbon (in form of fossil fuels) that has been sequestered in the earth over hundreds of millions of years and are pumping it into the atmosphere at once (when I say 'at once' I mean in terms of a timescale humans can comprehend...a few generations,etc)! The earth has had a natural cycle of trapping and releasing carbon such that over geologic time (not easily grasped by most people) we have struck a balance that has made life as we know it possible. This is about as simple of an idea as, I don't know, realizing your own perception is that the world is flat, but alas, if you look at the earth from afar you see it is indeed round. In other words pretty obvious when examined from the proper perspective.

The issue is why the hostility, what is the reason there is such enthusiasm and misguided effort to ignore or deny it? I believe it's a combination of corporate machinery (in the form of companies who must deliver short term returns to their shareholders), general ignorance on the subject by the common person, and the extreme dichotomy of political thought in this country (people are either 'red' or 'blue' and they subscribe to all the doctrine under one or the other).

In general most people probably don't give it much thought (our media gives it very little attention compared to most of the rest of the world). They are often predisposed to 'tow the party line' in denying it and since clearly the only possible 'winners', albeit short termed, is the fossil fuel industry and those institutions connected to it (which unfortunately is pretty much most of the rest of the Fortune 500 and therefore everyone's 401Ks, investments, etc!), so it is easy to see where the fear of stopping our thirst for oil derives. The problem is that the leaders of companies are hemmed in by the fact that they must deliver returns to the investors (in the relative short term) or face losing their jobs. This leads to campaign funding to get the 'right' officials elected in government and putting out a propaganda machine to allow psuedo-science based denial a platform and to tell the common person this is all liberal nonsense, or some sort of 'big government' ploy.

What we need is government to act to change this culture. They must issue massive tax breaks for renewables and revoke subsidies for the fossil fuel production. They have to stop the cycle. We need a way for our large corporations to see a monetary penalty in pursuing this current path and maybe even see an opportunity (to get into some new industries). The only debate is can we undo what we have done in time. Some say no. I say we have to try!


To think that the climate has been unchanged or is not constantly changing is intellectually dishonest. Yes humans may have a impact but thinking that we are the only reason and can control the outcome is pure hubris. I live in Florida and at least 10 miles as the crow flies from saltwater but I have dug up oyster and other seashells in my yard that have been there for quite a while. The pool excavation was an eye opener with what they uncovered.

If you think the climate hasn't changed Google the Alabama offshore forest. Cypress trees under 60 feet of seawater