In Defense of Biodiversity

Why Protecting Species from Extinction Matters

By Carl Safina


Originally published by Yale Environment 360

A number of biologists have recently made the argument that extinction is part of evolution and that saving species need not be a conservation priority. But this revisionist thinking shows a lack of understanding of evolution and an ignorance of the natural world.

A few years ago, I helped lead a ship-based expedition along south Alaska during which several scientists and noted artists documented and made art from the voluminous plastic trash that washes ashore even there. At Katmai National Park, we packed off several tons of trash from as distant as South Asia. But what made Katmai most memorable was: huge brown bears. Mothers and cubs were out on the flats digging clams. Others were snoozing on dunes. Others were patrolling.
During a rest, several of us were sitting on an enormous drift-log, watching one mother who’d been clamming with three cubs. As the tide flooded the flat, we watched in disbelief as she brought her cubs up to where we were sitting — and stepped up on the log we were on. There was no aggression, no tension; she was relaxed. We gave her some room as she paused on the log, and then she took her cubs past us into a sedge meadow. Because she was so calm, I felt no fear. I felt the gift.

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1 Reply to : In Defense of Biodiversity

  1. Zay says:

    I absolutely agree. There are too many people on planet Earth for the good of anything, and the modern ways of humanity are anything but green and coexistent with other areas of life around us.

    When Paul Ryan publicly announced that he wanted women to have more children, I was horrified and appalled that a political leader would be that arrogant and callous towards the natural world around us. I emailed my congressman about that.

    We definitely need to rebalance ourselves, and condition our minds and hearts to be one with nature, and it needs to begin with our young people, the Next Generation who will likely have an even larger impact on the future of life regardless of which path they choose. We have grown adults who’s attitudes towards the natural world, are like bratty little kids. Many people only see stars stripes and Glory. This is an extremely disturbing trend of humanity today.

    Also, there is this mysterious side to life, other intelligent beings of the Earth, that many are either unaware of, won’t talk about it, or are just too full of themselves to open their minds to a world far more dynamic then our current understanding.

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