Journal archives for May 2016

May 31, 2016

The absence of mankind

While I was on St. Kitts and Nevis, I visited a wild beach -- it is completely undeveloped and rarely used at all by people, because it is so exposed. There is no shade from the tropical sun, and the Atlantic surf is so rough that it is impossible to go in the water.

On the sand, there were turtle nests, plover nests, and tern nests. The upper beach platform had all kinds of fascinating maritime plants growing there, the cliffs were amazing -- it was gorgeous.

There was some plastic trash washed up of course, but other than that there was not much sign of humans. What makes a natural place the most lovely is the absence of people and their deleterious effects.

I believe E. O. Wilson is right to suggest that us humans should occupy only half of the surface of the planet's land masses, and leave the other half completely to Nature.

When I worked at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology in 1980 to 82, fairly often I used to be able to sit with Wilson in the tearoom, and have wide-ranging conservations. He is one of the most brilliant and kind people I have ever met.

We should listen to his words.

Nature is our original mother. We have to cherish our planet and all the organisms which are our family of living things. If we don't do that we harm ourselves irreparably, and we destroy our only home.

Posted on May 31, 2016 11:52 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 12 comments | Leave a comment