“If all (hu)mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” E. O. Wilson
My wonderful friend Marc Bekoff (who just so happens to be super-tight buddies with Jane Goodall–which almost makes me friends with her) sent me his new book, Ignoring Nature No More. The great thing about this book is that it includes a number of writers in a variety of different disciplines tackling a host of issues all related to biological conservation (though, with far less use of prepositions than what you just had to endure). If you don’t think this subject relates to you then I’m guessing you need to revisit the word ‘biology’. If for no other reason than pure self-preservation, you should check this book out (see Wilson quote above). Zoologists, economists, evolutionary biologists, environmentalists, anthropologists, psychologists, and even scholars of religion (represent, yo’) contribute to this stellar case for “compassionate conservation”. Granted, spending the last two years serving at a zoo (while working on a manuscript related to these issues) has taught me that conservation is a very convoluted subject.
The one thing I do know, however, is to be at a point in our history where we may have to focus our energy on saving some species at the expense of others (that’s right–our ‘choice’ now is to make a choice between certain animals) only reminds us of how we cannot wait a moment longer. It’s probably already too late for some (think certain species of rhinos, tigers, and duikers), which means, if we don’t act now it’s going to be too late for many other species such as, well, there’s really too many to name so just check out this depressing list of what we’re losing.
Yeah, we’re in trouble.
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.