” We live in a Zoologically impoverished world, from which all of the hugest, fierest and strangest forms have recently disappeared” these were the words of Alfred Russel Wallace who had independently proposed his theory of evolution by Natural selection and prompted Darwin to publish his book “On the Origin of Species”.
‘Here on Earth’ by the leading environmentalist Tim Flannery is an excellent read taking you through some interesting facts in the evolution of life on earth (or earth itself). He gives us an entertaining walkthrough of the Natural History of the earth. Through the ages he shows how life has worked in relation to the earth and how every life form is interconnected for each others existence. What problems we face and being a definite force of life on earth, what responsibility we hold to other life forms and the earth as a whole
When we have a set of activists saying that we have a crisis there is also a section of businesses that this crisis could be the next big thing and full of opportunities and if you embark on it now, you can make billions tomorrow. Beyond the economic and opportunity argument for business or the crisis cry by the activists there is a large group of individuals who are trying to understand the gravity of the issue and see how we got here in the first place. I think this book is for them to understand where we stand and what our responsibilities are.
Taking us through the theories of both Darwin and Wallace, Tim gives us a glimpse of environment as well as the migratory patterns of our own forefathers have shaped what we are today. From man’s unplanned contribution to extinction to his planned and progressive contribution to balance the ecosystems through conservation, he also tells us that we have all the tools needed (provided we have the will) to reverse a crisis and move forward.
This book also introduced me to the interesting concept of Gaia by James Lovelock, a fascinating look at our earth and the possibilities of research that the Gaian hypothesis can bring forward. While I am no authority to say for or against the hypothesis, I feel good reading and listening to concepts that can alter the way we think.
Again while different sects of people evaluate the climate crisis/opportunity in their own way, as individuals the question is how we can be supportive of a sustained future. It is important that we deep dive into our own story of coming to existence (evolution) in order to avoid our own extinction.