I’ve been seeing quite a few end-of-year wrap-up articles in my usual round of climate newsletters, Twitter, podcasts, etc. We could talk about 2021 as a year of fearfully extreme weather events. For instance, here’s an article
in the Washington Post,
complete with impressively fancy graphics, that sums up the heat waves, floods, fires, tornados, and other nasty business from the year.
Without denying or diminishing all the bad news from 2021, though, I want to focus on good news, here and in the Deeper Dive below.
So let’s talk about E. O. Wilson, who died on December 26. Obviously, it’s not good news that this visionary scientist has died. But it is good news that he lived 92 years on this good earth and his influence has been profound.
Originally an entomologist, he expanded his concerns–it’s not too much to say–to the whole earth. Perhaps his most famous books (of about three dozen) are Biophilia
(1984) and Half-Earth
(2016). “Biophilia” of course means “love of living things,” and Wilson inspired a movement called the Half-Earth Project
, urging us to conserve half the earth in order to allow all living things to thrive–people and and other creatures. As one of his close colleagues said, “His gift was a deep belief in people and our shared human resolve to save the natural world.”