Time and time again I read of conservationists’ frustration with demand for horn, scales, and other wildlife body parts used in traditional Asian medicines. This demand is driving species through poaching to extinction. I share that frustration. And I abhor the cruelty and suffering, and the criminal racketeering that supplies the demand. However, campaigners lose my support when they claim that belief in the medicinal power of such items is misplaced ‘because it has no basis in science.’
Rhinoceros horn, ideally still attached to the rhinoceros
The planet will find a new equilibrium, with or without humans or any other species. Change is a constant. But what happened to survival of the fittest?
A papier-mâché maraca started it. That was the thing that melted my head about universal timescales. Something hideous I created at school, in decades, centuries, millennia to come would cease to exist, becoming ultimately, atomically recycled. I realised my life and death were ephemeral and, critically, I realised how afraid of that I was. I was ten.
Informed people are increasingly recognising that climate change can no longer be halted let alone reversed. It’s going to happen. It’s already happening. We need to deal with it. Continue reading →