Mongabay has posted an interview with Dr. Peter Raven, one of the world’s preeminent biodiversity experts. It’s a real good read. Although too long for most American’s to tolerate, Grist readers should have no problem with it.

The interview is at the bottom of the article. I suggest going straight to it. If you read the prologue first you may commit suicide before the interview, which is upbeat and hopeful. Then go back and read the prologue because it is informative.

The common thread between biologists, conservationists, and nature lovers in general is their cherished childhood memories of nature. If you have young children, or plan to have them, find ways to get them out into nature. Here in Seattle there are a number of summer programs that do that. My daughters participated in them regularly. They have stood under bald eagle nests, stared at great horned owls in the trees, watched herons feeding, caught bugs and frogs. Maybe it’s coincidence, but they certainly have become big nature lovers.

Here are three take home quotes for me:

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… protected areas are still a good strategy but let me put it in the broadest terms possible. Ecosystem services and species can be preserved only in the context that it is sustainable, which means socially just.

… corporations control far more money than governments and face less constraints in implementing policies.

… promoting interest in nature among children is absolutely critical for a future where ecological issues will be of increasing importance.

We must simultaneously care for the poor and protect ecosystems, not just one or the other. Governments alone are incapable of stopping biodiverstiy loss. The future belongs to the children.

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What quote would you take home from this interview?

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