The passion and power of citizen scientists.

The Missouri Stream Team program is celebrating its 20th anniversary. Through this program, an estimated 80,000 volunteer citizens have helped monitor the quality of Missouri’s water streams. And with recent reports showing (often high) levels of mercury in every stream the U.S. Geological Survey tested, we could use more volunteers out there on the front lines. The project leader, Chris Riggert, first told ScienceCheerleader.com readers why he got involved in this effort, here.

Yesterday, Chris emailed me a link to the team’s 20th anniversary video which fully encapsulates the passion and power of citizen scientists. (Thanks, Chris!)

  • Three cheers for citizen scientists and global citizens. Who knows, perhaps everyone in the human community will come to see that we need to care for Earth’s ecology the way the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us protect their insatiably greedy interests in the unbridled growth of humanity’s soon to become unsustainable global economy.

  • Three cheers for citizen scientists and global citizens. Who knows, perhaps everyone in the human community will come to see that we need to care for Earth’s ecology the way the self-proclaimed Masters of the Universe among us protect their insatiably greedy interests in the unbridled growth of humanity’s soon to become unsustainable global economy.

  • For me, it is impossible to believe that a species so wondrous and gifted as Homo sapiens will not find a way to continue rather than to induce its own extinction as we appear to be doing now. Somehow the miracle of life as we know it, with all its beauty and biodiversity, has to be protected. At least we have to try, whatever the odds.

    What I find difficult to see this morning is how the human community can protect itself from itself. It looks like most of the leaders among us who are organizing and managing the global political economy have determined how the family of humanity will proceed. It reminds me of the strategy deployed by the stars of the movie, Thelma and Louise. The greediest among us, who have hoarded most of world’s wealth and purchased political power with it, appear to have determined that they will play their game out to its bitter end. Come what may for the children, coming generations, life as we know it and the integrity of the planetary home God has blessed us to inhabit.

    These leaders have decided not to concern themselves with the future. They live for themselves. They remind us that in the future, “We’ll all be dead anyway.” Why worry? After all, they say that, according to their endgame, we should embrace ‘the courage’ to do nothing…….except to conspicuously consume, hoard and party hardy until our enterprise goes over the cliff marked UNSUSTAINABLE.

    Everyone is encouraged to ravenously consume and excessively hoard resources, just like they do. Climb any mountain, cross any stream so you can worship your very own “sacred cow”. Perhaps a fleet of autos, a private jet, a mega-yacht, a Madoff-like beach house in the Hamptons, a ski chalet in Davos, a club membership at Augusta National or day to day living in a gated community of your choosing. This is the “greed run amuck” way of life that has been legitimized, institutionalized, legalized and regarded as virtuous. This “greed is good” way of living in which everyone is encouraged to participate is of all things, so we are told, the one and only way to live. Life is not worth living if the values of wanton greediness are not idolatrized. People who say and do otherwise are branded losers and chumps.

    The bold-faced recognition that this way of living in the world we inhabit is as unsustainable as it is obscene is not something leaders in the last 8 long, dark years cared to talk about. Dishonesty, duplicity, double-dealing and denial prevailed. These leaders were famous for not fighting the battles for freedom but are all too ready to send other peoples’ children into harm’s way. They had bigger things to do. These leaders make statements like, “I haven’t flown commercial in thirty years. Only private jets for me.”

    So here we are, nearing the end of the first decade of Century XXI. Wealthy people buy politicians and the same old business-as-usual activities continue, just as all of them have agreed. Corporations have their PR firms promote whatever it is they want to keep doing. We have large-scale business enterprises that are “too big to fail” and too big to succeed as viable operations because they are soon to become unsustainable.

    The focus of many too many leaders remains riveted upon convenient and attractive matters associated with endless growth of human enterprise, per-capita overconsumption and overpopulation rather than upon the actual threats to human wellbeing and environmental health that are directly posed to the human family by these very same, distinctly human global overgrowth activities. By so doing, these leaders could be willfully, duplicitously and perniciously directing the children down a “primrose path” to face some sort of unimaginable, colossal, human-driven wreckage which a single, selfish generation is largely responsible for precipitating.

    Perhaps it is somehow right, and timely finally, to speak openly of such things even though so many of our most greedy leaders appear so clearly unready to change their unsustainable lifestyles. I would submit that it is not the public who is not ready to address global challenges and make needed changes, but too many leaders who have chosen to disregard the welfare of others as well as the preservation of Earth’s body and its environs for the sole purpose of protecting the greed-mongers’ way of life.

  • For me, it is impossible to believe that a species so wondrous and gifted as Homo sapiens will not find a way to continue rather than to induce its own extinction as we appear to be doing now. Somehow the miracle of life as we know it, with all its beauty and biodiversity, has to be protected. At least we have to try, whatever the odds.

    What I find difficult to see this morning is how the human community can protect itself from itself. It looks like most of the leaders among us who are organizing and managing the global political economy have determined how the family of humanity will proceed. It reminds me of the strategy deployed by the stars of the movie, Thelma and Louise. The greediest among us, who have hoarded most of world’s wealth and purchased political power with it, appear to have determined that they will play their game out to its bitter end. Come what may for the children, coming generations, life as we know it and the integrity of the planetary home God has blessed us to inhabit.

    These leaders have decided not to concern themselves with the future. They live for themselves. They remind us that in the future, “We’ll all be dead anyway.” Why worry? After all, they say that, according to their endgame, we should embrace ‘the courage’ to do nothing…….except to conspicuously consume, hoard and party hardy until our enterprise goes over the cliff marked UNSUSTAINABLE.

    Everyone is encouraged to ravenously consume and excessively hoard resources, just like they do. Climb any mountain, cross any stream so you can worship your very own “sacred cow”. Perhaps a fleet of autos, a private jet, a mega-yacht, a Madoff-like beach house in the Hamptons, a ski chalet in Davos, a club membership at Augusta National or day to day living in a gated community of your choosing. This is the “greed run amuck” way of life that has been legitimized, institutionalized, legalized and regarded as virtuous. This “greed is good” way of living in which everyone is encouraged to participate is of all things, so we are told, the one and only way to live. Life is not worth living if the values of wanton greediness are not idolatrized. People who say and do otherwise are branded losers and chumps.

    The bold-faced recognition that this way of living in the world we inhabit is as unsustainable as it is obscene is not something leaders in the last 8 long, dark years cared to talk about. Dishonesty, duplicity, double-dealing and denial prevailed. These leaders were famous for not fighting the battles for freedom but are all too ready to send other peoples’ children into harm’s way. They had bigger things to do. These leaders make statements like, “I haven’t flown commercial in thirty years. Only private jets for me.”

    So here we are, nearing the end of the first decade of Century XXI. Wealthy people buy politicians and the same old business-as-usual activities continue, just as all of them have agreed. Corporations have their PR firms promote whatever it is they want to keep doing. We have large-scale business enterprises that are “too big to fail” and too big to succeed as viable operations because they are soon to become unsustainable.

    The focus of many too many leaders remains riveted upon convenient and attractive matters associated with endless growth of human enterprise, per-capita overconsumption and overpopulation rather than upon the actual threats to human wellbeing and environmental health that are directly posed to the human family by these very same, distinctly human global overgrowth activities. By so doing, these leaders could be willfully, duplicitously and perniciously directing the children down a “primrose path” to face some sort of unimaginable, colossal, human-driven wreckage which a single, selfish generation is largely responsible for precipitating.

    Perhaps it is somehow right, and timely finally, to speak openly of such things even though so many of our most greedy leaders appear so clearly unready to change their unsustainable lifestyles. I would submit that it is not the public who is not ready to address global challenges and make needed changes, but too many leaders who have chosen to disregard the welfare of others as well as the preservation of Earth’s body and its environs for the sole purpose of protecting the greed-mongers’ way of life.