I am the daughter and granddaughter of sportsmen, the type of men who love to fish and hunt. I am also a dyed-in-the-wool progressive who doesn’t eat meat. However, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for sportsmen because of my father and grandfathers. Imagine my surprise, not to mention joy, when I saw a Grist article about the chairman and founder of the group, Conservation Hawks, Todd Tanner, a self avowed sportsman, who says climate change is real. Not only that, but announced that he will give his Beretta Silver Pigeon 12 gauge shotgun, a gift from his wife, to anyone who can prove that climate change is not real.
Is Tanner serious about giving away his gun if someone can actually convince him that climate change is not real? In the words of a sportswoman from Alaska, “You betcha.” Hal Herring, writing for Field & Stream (a magazine my father has long subscribed to), stated, “He’s not kidding. You convince him, he’ll give you the gun.”
Tanner told Herring, “If somebody can convince me that I don’t have to worry about climate change, I’ll give it them. Or I’ll auction it off and donate the proceeds to the charity of their choice.” However, there is a caveat to the deal: The argument will have to be “real argument, with real facts.” Tanner added that he doesn’t think “that argument exists, but I’m willing to be surprised.”
Tanner’s views on climate change are very refreshing, given that many famous sportsmen and sportswomen have opposite views.
“It’s real, it’s threatening everything we love. Not taking action is not an option.”
Contrast that with what the famous sportswoman from Alaska says about climate change.
Why is he making the offer now? He is offering the Beretta because “this is the point where we can still stand up and have an effect. Maybe it’s the last point.”
When asked what the percentage is of sportsmen who care about climate change, Tanner answered that it is “maybe 50 percent.” However, he said it is a “tricky question.” He gave an example that showed just how tricky the question is to answer. During a talk he gave to a group in Montana, someone mentioned that they didn’t believe in climate change. Tanner then asked them if they witnessed any changes in their lifetimes.
“Well, that set off the conversation, then. Everybody had a story about that,” Tanner said. “And everybody I know does, too. Because these days, it’s fishermen and hunters who are the ones who notice these things.”
I seriously doubt Tanner will end up giving away his Beretta. I applaud him for raising awareness about climate change to the people who love to fish and hunt in the best way they can understand: offering up one of his prized guns.
Photo credits: Flickr user, npmullins