This I Believe

Paul - New York, New York
Entered on December 25, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65

I believe mankind must preserve biodiversity and the natural environment. I grew up in semi-rural New England. As a young boy, I found the greatest joy I have ever known walking the woods and ponds near my home, discovering animals and loving and learning about them. Nature was my sanctuary, my Church.

In my lifetime of some 56 years, a flyspeck of time in the Universe, I have seen the natural environment demolished at an unprecedented rate, all to serve a burgeoning and greedy human population. “Development” has been unrelenting. I know it is happening everywhere. The accelerating magnitude of loss in New England and in the wider world is terrifying to me.

I believe there are simply too many people on the planet. More people place urgent pressures on the environment. We need to manage population growth and simultaneously serve as stewards of the natural world.

I believe Nature does not exist for human exploitation, nor should Nature be preserved merely because of the benefits it affords us. Rather, Nature deserves to exist in its own right. As the greatest alterers of the natural environment, we humans must balance our needs to use Nature with the equal need to protect it.