John Hagan


Dear Manomet Friends,

We seem to be living in a zero-sum time. For me to win, you have to lose. Not only that, facts (and science) don’t matter in a zero-sum society. “If the facts don’t support my case, I’ll make up facts that do.”

This pathway is dangerous for every economic, social, or environmental value we might hold dear.

To get to a sensible future, we’re going to have to be better at integrating the many diverse values that make up our society, our world. Pushing forward an environmental agenda unilaterally, irrespective of social equity or financial motives, is a zero-sum strategy. We can do better than that. We better do better than that. It’s a new century.

Read this recent article by our shorebird team Laura Chamberlin and Monica Iglecia. They describe three great examples of how we’re integrating financial goals and shorebird conservation. All of us in the conservation field have our own personal financial needs and goals. So, why wouldn’t the cattle rancher in Kansas, or the shrimp farmer in Nicaragua?

By acknowledging, appreciating, and respecting the many diverse interests and values in our society, Manomet expands the participation in creating a more sustainable world. We are not enemies. We are friends. Maybe we all end up at a different future “destination” than we had in mind, but it’s a destination that can work for everyone, including shorebirds.

Manomet is an idea—a fresh and refreshing idea. We see the world as a hopeful place—an interconnected web where we tap in to the good in people. By first developing a relationship built on trust, our science gets used by our partners. Relationship first. Science second. By greeting the world openly, we make it possible for anyone to participate in their own way, cattle ranchers and shrimp farmers alike. That’s how we’re going to break out of this zero-sum game that is consuming society. It works. We do it every day.

Thank you for traveling with us to a new destination.

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John Hagan