Thursday, 8 May 2008

A Voice from the past

While doing some filing I came across a paper I had written 27 years ago. It was presented at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and as I recall caused a considerable rumpus at the time. In fact the Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund contacted the Lord Craigton the Chairman of the Fauna Preservation Society (now FFI), and asked that I resign -- I was the Executive Secretary. It is difficult over a quarter of a century later to see what all the fuss was about, but it reached the columns of the Times newspaper, with conservationists joining in to defend my comments.

What I found interesting re-reading this paper (and it should be borne in mind it was given to the Palaeontolgy section of the Conference)is that nearly a decade before we founded the World Land Trust, it was already becoming apparent that land purchase was going to be the best way of conserving wildlife.

And interestingly, at the time I was writing a new glacial period seemed more likely than he global warming we are now recording. Times change, but the number of endangered species continues to spiral out of control. And then as now, human population was the key issue. And it still remains unaddressed.


  1. Hey! Thanks for all the great info. I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and I especially like’s carbon calculator ( I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it). Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).

  2. Rebecca Absalom, Carbon Projects Officer, Restoration Ecology Team, WLT13 May 2008 at 11:35

    The World Land Trust Carbon Balanced programme is run by the Restoration Ecology Team who design projects to deliver carbon dioxide offsets by restoring forest and preventing deforestation. The website,, is home to WLT's own carbon calculator which allows individuals to calculate the carbon dioxide emissions associated with their lifestyle. Carbon Balanced was rated highly in a recent report by Which? Magazine (April 2008), and was awarded 5 out of 5 for ease of use of the website. Carbon Balanced has the same main objective as WLT: to protect endangered habitat and its biodiversity. So by offsetting through WLT you can help to conserve the world's threatened wildlife as well as mitigate climate change.