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Please do your part to save wild life and the environment

Where are they? Where are the bullfrogs and spring peepers whose voices once filled our nights? Where is the riot of birdsong at dawn and at dusk? Where are the lightning bugs that used to light up the evenings, so numerous that you could almost read by them? Where are the Junebugs that used to crash into our windshields on a June evening? How about the tent caterpillars in early summer and the fall webworm whose nests denuded the trees in September (but, leaves being done with their work, didn’t harm the trees). Have you heard any cicadas droning all through August in the last couple of years? Where have all the bats gone that used to fly out at dusk in the summer? And now, the pine trees, blue spruce especially, are dying.

These are just some of our local species that I have missed lately. Worldwide, frogs are dying, bats are dying of white-nose fungus, and 25 percent of our songbirds are gone. Why is this happening? Climate change, pesticides, and the takeover of habitat by suburban sprawl, shopping malls and roadways are leading to a huge decrease in bio-diversity.

So please, do your part to conserve fossil fuels, give up methane-causing beef, cut down on dairy, and don’t use drive-throughs. One gallon of gas sends 5.5 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere. Methane from cattle is 30 to 80 times worse for the atmosphere that carbon dioxide.

JAHNN SWANKER-GIBSON

Johnstown