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!


December 23, 2007

Rev. Ronald Kobata

Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America

Today’s Date: 4 December 2007

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

Growing up with pet dogs, and then one of my daughters having a dog, rabbits, guinea pigs.

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

My dad was an avid fisherman. I have fond memories of our family joining my dad’s fishing buddy’s families going to the beaches in the area. The kids would be playing as the fathers cast their lines into the ocean and moms enjoying each others company while preparing lunches.

Now? I don’t think it qualifies, but my favorite pastime that occurs outside is golfing. Otherwise, I enjoy an occasional walk in the park or at the beach.

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

I’ve adopted the kangaroo as my mascot. This comes from a story I once read about how the animal got its name. It mentioned how the explorer Capt. Cook noticing the unusual animal, asked about it and got a reply from the local people “kangaroo.” Later it was determined that the expression kangaroo in English meant “What do you mean?” This impressed me as an important reminder of the role of religion in life as a search for meaning.

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 challenge is human ignorance (arrogant ignoring) of the truth of our interdependent relationship within our natural environment. It remains to be seen if humans will be able to make the necessary adjustments to their actions in compliance with what needs to be done to turn around the environmental destruction we are causing.

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

Each piece is an important piece by virtue of its connection with all of the other pieces. This big picture must be realized to make us take personal responsibility for how we each impact each other and the world we are pieces of.

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