Citizens of the world can stem the tide of environmental degradationIt is easy to scare yourself to death. All you must do is read the news, day in and day out, about environmental degradation.

The best antidote to such despair is to do something. Jerome Arnold has done that. As profiled by Patrick Drake in Monday's edition, Arnold identified salmon as an indicator species for the health of the planet. He's doing something about it by tending Ecola Creek as an officer of the Ecola Creek Awareness Project and a member of the Ecola Creek Watershed Council.

One person can make a difference. A few people banding together can have even more effect. That is the logic behind the watershed councils.

At the other end of the organizational spectrum, there was news last year of a major environmental pact in Canada. The Wall Street Journal has reported that timber companies including Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries, Tembec and Domtar are joining with native groups and an energy company, Suncor Energy, in a collaboration with the Pew Charitable Trusts to sustain Canada's Boreal forests. These forests "circle the globe's northern latitudes (and) make up one of the planet's few intact natural areas big enough to help buffer the effects of climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels," noted the WSJ.

The framework set out in this pact must take shape, but timber executives noted that, "previous collaborative efforts involving those companies and the World Wildlife Fund led to creation of protected areas in Ontario."

We applaud the energy and commitment of Jerome Arnold, and we earnestly hope the Canadian coalition brings off its extraordinary plan. The will to halt environmental degradation is apparent in many corners of the world. Unlike the Bush White House, which is in denial, many citizens of the world realize that it's later than we think.

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