Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 20, 2006

Christine ACY Kumar

Private Citizen

Today’s Date: 07-20-06

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

I've had so many but probably the most impressive was hiking in the Cascade Mountains of Washington state and a chance encounter with a pair of Golden Eagles. It was sunset, my husband and I were watching the sky change colors at about 8000 ft after a day of stunning hiking views and a full belly of simple hiking fare and a glass of Margeaux painstakingly packed in by me secretly. As we meditated quietly on the beauty of the immense landscape which unfolded before us, elk browsing 1000' feet below us in the near valley, I felt more than heard air moving, only to discover a pair of Golden Eagles had landed in the stunted tree above our heads. The tree was all of 10 feet tall maybe - stunted by the constant winds moving through this region of the pass. I completely forgot the sunset and my wine, and watched this pair interact for about five minutes. I truly do not think they realized we were there since we hadn't moved at all. Perhaps this was a night time roost for them. I don't know. I made the mistake of reaching for my camera and of course they saw the movement of my hand long before I could raise the camera. They took off immediately, falling with the effects of gravity on their impressive weight until their wings got lift. They soared right past my face - perhaps all of 6 feet away. I looked into the eyes of the one bird and felt like I connected to it for an eternity. Of course, it was only a split second. Then I felt the wave of air pushed by their wings blast across my face.

Wow! The majesty of such an experience is not one you forget anytime soon. I can still see, hear and feel them in my mind's eye as though it happened only yesterday. This was in 1994, over twelve years ago. I've experienced many other animals in the wild, some might consider them to be greater, but not in my mind. I doubt much could compare such a freak encounter with two wild Golden Eagles that I could have literally reached out and touched, if only I dared.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Yeah, the brook which ran behind my house. I spent more time there than anywhere else. I still do - in my mind.


No not really. I'm stuck in a city - I HATE it. Why do people create these sterile anatural noisy ugly environments? I pine for open unspoiled spaces every day of my adult life since moving here. THERE'S NO CONNECTION TO THE LAND OR TO NATURE. Now wonder people treat the earth so badly - millions who live in cities don't even know her anymore. Or have forgotten her in the quest for human success. There is a nature preserve that is about 20 minutes from where I live. I visit there a lot. It's been the only way to keep my sanity while living in the city for my husband's job.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

My favorite class of animals are birds. Why? I guess I see a lot myself as well as my hopes and dreams reflected in them. They are intelligent, beautiful and resourceful creatures. They are bipedal just liken humans - a rare phenomenon in nature. Birds sing sweetly or at least earnestly and they can form complex social structures that never cease to amaze me. They inhabit practically every possible permutation of biome the earth has thrown at them and have taken to the air, land and sea and done it all with exquisite aplomb. While I've never met a bird I don't like, I'd be lying if I didn't say the Emperor Penguin was my favorite bird. There is not one thing about these birds which doesn’t absolutely amaze and astound me. It is my ULTIMATE dream in life to see an Emperor in its native habitat. One I have summer access to is the Hummingbird. Another extreme example of a bird which I absolutely revere.

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

The greatest environmental threat is multi fold, I don’t consider one any worse than the other - they are all horrible:
1) Human Overpopulation
2) Deforestation and loss of habitat
3) Wanton, Abject and Senseless Consumerism coupled with programmed obsolescence to yet increases consumerism and drive the economy.
4) Reliance on oil and other dirty means of energy, and the lack of willingness to invest in REAL and VIABLE alternative energy while we pollute our oceans and parks, land and air in our never-ending quest for oil. Due to the current US administration's unholy covenant with the oil industry, sadly this attitude will continue for some time despite all the warnings from experts who can read the writing on the wall much more clearly than our politicians can. It's really ultimately the people's fault however since most put ZERO pressure on their government to actually DO something about it. We'd rather be mired down in a war for carbon in the Middle East, wasting billions and billions of dollars, than to have invested all that blood money in hydrogen research. I'm ashamed to be a human being most days, honestly.
5) Global Warming (which is really just a combination of human greed and politicians sitting around with there thumbs up their collective butts worrying they will have to make the hard decisions and commit political suicide in the process.)
Of these above, we hear the most right now about Global Warming and the release of greenhouse gasses into our atmosphere - particularly the carbon based gasses. However, in my mind, the BIGGEST problem is really human overpopulation. I think six billion people all struggling and vying for resources is what is driving the whole nightmarish scenario.
Right now, for wildlife, the single largest threat is deforestation and loss of habitat. Very few animals are not facing this threat right now.

As for part B - hard to say. I hope that we will get a handle on oil & coal consumption in the next 100 years. With giants like Indian and China rising who want to use what the West did as their models for economic development, things could get a LOT worse before they get any better. Hopefully I'll be dead by then!

I want to give the canned answer of Global warming, but really I'm going to have to narrow it down to protecting habitats and all the unique creatures who live in them. I think ultimately this will prove to be a greater challenge than Global Warming. I think that eventually, assuming we don’t' tip the canoe and screw up the earth's climate so badly that all of the polar ice caps melt and we shut down the THC ultimately plunging the earth into another Little Ice Age, protecting our species will prove to be an impossible task. Hawaii has lost three bird species to extinction since 2000 alone. Humans will continue to claim land for our burgeoning population at the expense of every other living creature. I see a future where the Amazon forest is paved and the only animals that survive are the generalists - like starlings, pigeons, tamarisk and Tree of Heaven. I see a total loss of biodiversity, and I have no clue how this can be stopped, why it seems everyone cares buut nothing really seems to get done about it or how we explain what happened to future generations. The entire concept of LAND USE needs to be completely REWRITTEN. Otherwise, Africa, the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and Asia will all look like Europe. Little cutie cute controlled pseudo environments which are devoid of most of their wildlife. You'll have to purchase an entrance pass to a national park 5 years in advance to even get into it - there will be so many people and so little natural resources left.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

Protect and love Mother Earth as though she is your lifeblood, because she is! Stop exploiting her and her creatures as though they are simply put here for our amusement and consumption. People like to think they are above the natural laws and even above the forces of Earth itself, but she will rise again eventually and restore the natural order. And then when calamity strikes and humans die in the millions, or possibly even billions, we will cry and blame God as having forsaken us. Really it was us that forsook the Earth, and she will return the favor in kind. It's inevitable. She's seen eternity, and she has endless days ahead. She's just biding her time right now. We are but a blink. Beware!

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