In 1800, every human on the planet had a corresponding 80 kg of mammal mass in the wild. Wild land mammals outweighed humans in an 80:50 ratio. Today, each human on the planet can only point to 2.5 kg of wild mammal mass as their “own.
Ultimately, the Earth will survive after the sixth mass extinction event, but it will do so without us unless we care enough to change.
I cannot talk of biodiversity without land degradation and now we are seeing we cannot talk of climate change without biodiversity and without land degradation.
I want to track this strange oscillating vision, of whales as powerful spiritual beings but also a target of relentless persecution. Human nature is not endlessly malleable, and it contains all sorts of destructive impulses, but we would do well to turn this on those destroying our seas and not on those who call it home.
The somber truth is that the vast bulk of nature’s staggering abundance has already disappeared. We live in a world characterized primarily by the relative silence and emptiness of its natural spaces.
This is a story about the critical role of public gardens and the pandemic-induced recession’s impact on them—as seen through the experiences of the Green Ark Botanical Garden Foundation (Foundation or Ark) in Costa Rica.
Because the film is so compelling and Attenborough such a sympathetic person, viewers may accept all of its statements and arguments. This would, however, be a mistake in my opinion.
I believe that higher education would better serve students in particular and all humans in general if our teaching and research methods stop perpetuating the cultural paradigm that brought us to the brink of extinction and start encouraging students to imagine and create alternatives to it.
We are also undermining the capacity of the Earth to sustain thriving human societies. We have the power to change this – but we need to act now.
Our imaginations are rooted in the natural world. They formed in the natural world. They took their metaphors and similes from the natural world. It’s from the natural world that we thought that something might be strong as an oak tree or as fragile as a reed.
The bottom line is: we’re changing our world in many different ways at once. And the myriad little creatures that play so many critical roles in the fabric of life are struggling to survive the onslaught.
Today the monarchs are all but gone. That sad fact hit home this week as I read of the 97 percent collapse of the Western monarch population. No number of inspired “Ten Things You Can Do” articles, no amount of milkweed replanting, will revive a species once it falls into the past.