Letters: It is time to walk the walk to protect endangered animals

·4 min read

Endangered animals must be protected for their good and our own

Do you have a favorite wild animal?

When you were younger, did you go to the zoo and look in amazement at the animals you would otherwise never have the opportunity to see in real life? Can you imagine a time when seeing big cats, elephants, and other wild animals are just a story people tell their children and grandchildren?

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My favorite wild animal is the iconic African elephant. Sadly, my grandchildren or great-grandchildren may never see one, since one species is critically endangered and the other is endangered.

Jayden Pullen
Jayden Pullen

Wildlife all across the globe from Antarctica to the island of Sumatra are disappearing, and we humans are the cause. From poaching to encroaching on wildlife habitats to the pollution we make that impacts the climate, people will be the reason wildlife becomes folklore.

More: More aquatic creatures will follow catfish to extinction if Big Darby Creek not protected

If you have gotten this far into the article, you may be wondering why you should care or even what you could do. As to the first question, I’ll simply try to pull on your heart strings.

Animals are like us in many ways, such as having family bonds; wolves have their packs, lions have their prides, etc. Some people believe animals have souls, but even if you don’t, you can’t deny animals have thoughts and feelings.

Three critically endangered Vietnamese pond turtles hatched at the zoo in late January.
Three critically endangered Vietnamese pond turtles hatched at the zoo in late January.

So how can you help? A quick Google search will show you petitions, such as those found on support.wildlife.org, opportunities to peacefully protest, groups such as the National Wildlife Federation, and other avenues to help this cause.

More: Baby animal alert: The Wilds welcomes another adorable rhino calf to its pastures

It can seem a daunting task, but it will stay that way, unless we step up. Let’s make sure future generations have more than pictures and stuffed animals of wildlife.

Jayden Pullen, Columbus

Climate Action Plan talks the talk, but can it walk the walk?

I am writing in response to Columbus’ Climate Action Plan release and press conference on Dec. 9.

In March, I wrote a letter calling for Columbus’ Climate Action Plan to be more ambitious and supportive of regional jobs. Since then, I and many other volunteers (from Sunrise Columbus, Green Columbus, Simply Living, Ready for 100, and Columbus Stand Up!) met with Columbus city leaders. This coalition of volunteers, asked for stronger strategies and a greater focus on equity in the plan.

More: Letters: Influence of money in politics, gun reforms and Columbus' climate plan

Now there is good news. Columbus’ Climate Action Plan aims to cut emissions by 45% percent by 2030, through a series of goals and steps in areas like buildings, transportation, and sustainable neighborhoods.

Importantly, the 2022 Operating Budget designates significant investments into a clean energy workforce program that provides training and career advancement for young adults in Columbus City Schools, to home weatherization programs, and more.

There are five new city staff positions open, such as an equitable community organizer and a Climate Action Plan implementation coordinator.

More: Hundreds of U.S. cities adopted climate plans, including Columbus. But the city isn't monitoring progress, critics say

There are ambitious goals in the Climate Action Plan, and it will take a lot of work to implement them accordingly. City leaders, such as Bryan Clark in the Office of Sustainability, are talking about the need to engage with members of the community who are usually not included in big decisions like those in the plan. I agree with this talk, and will be paying attention to how we walk the walk.

Rachel Wagner, Columbus


More: How to submit a letter to the editor for The Columbus Dispatch

Mobile newsroom excels at story and being 'where 'the people are'

I was at a Northland Community meeting when the Mobile Newsroom Initiative was explained and reporters started to hold hours at the Karl Road Library. I was happy to see how it all came together with the excellent story told by Lavata Williams about her childhood at Malabar Farm.

More: Northland resident Lavata Williams reminisces about childhood on Malabar Farm

Putting reporters where the people are seems to be working out.

Pam Dippold, Columbus

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: How can we protect animals. What is Can Columbus' Climate Action Plan

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