The work I do, alongside the Tompkins Conservation team and with our partners, is driven by a deep love for wild nature and my abiding belief that it is possible that human and non-human societies can live in balance with one another. The time for tepid reforms is long over. If you can’t see that the world is on fire, you aren’t paying attention.
Here’s what I believe:
- The global loss of species, described by scientists as the Sixth Great Extinction event in Earth history, is a crime against life’s diversity.
- Fundamental, systemic change is necessary—and a profound shrinking of the human “bootprint” on the ecosphere is overdue.
- Flourishing human communities, one of our great hopes, in the long run, can only exist if Earth’s living systems are whole and healthy.
- Industrial agriculture, industrial forestry, industrial fishing—any resource extraction activity that turns nature’s bounty into mere “commodities” for maximum exploitation and profit needs to be phased out fast.
- The climate chaos we see around the globe isn’t just an unintended side effect of bad energy policy (although it is that, too) but the result of too many people using too much stuff, destroying too much intact habitat (which naturally stores carbon), and causing too much greenhouse gas pollution.
- Everyone who cares about a livable future, for people and all our fellow Earthlings, has the responsibility to do something to resist the forces destroying nature.
After more than two decades working to create parks, restore wildlife, operate organic farms, and be an activist against nature-destroying projects, I believe that the conservation movement globally must grow more radical and much larger to be politically effective.