In his 2016 book Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life, Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson (1929-2021) proposed designation of half of Earth’s surface, both terrestrial and marine, as a natural reserve to safeguard the remaining biodiversity of the planet, including ourselves. Today about one-sixth of land and one-twelfth of marine areas receive (on paper) protection of the kind Wilson envisioned. Tough economic, social, political, and psychological forces work to impede any further expansion of protection.
During the coming year panel discussions among HR 1973 classmates who have worked towards environmental conservation and in related fields, along with current Harvard faculty, will explore the background, merits, and feasibility of “Half-Earth.” These conversations will lead, we hope, both to collective action and to exciting activities at our 50th Reunion.
ClassACT HR73 invites everyone to the initial Forum, which aims to scope the challenges we face in the protection of Nature. The Forum will feature five classmates: moderators Jesse Ausubel (oceans) and John Kress (tropical forests), Brot Coburn (mountains), Sharon Tisher (climate change policy), and Deane Wang (temperate ecosystems). We hope you can participate.