Posted by: atowhee | December 27, 2021


This year is about to go away, and it is taking familiar names and faces with it. Not long ago, Joan Didion. Before that Janet Malcom, Hank Aaron, Hal Holbrook, Larry McMurtry, Robert Bly, Christopher Plummer, Colin Powell, Bob Dole, Sondheim, Mary Wilson, Mondale, Lasorda, Lee Elder. Desmond Tutu! Now E. O. Wilson, certainly the most important biologist of my life-time.

His Half-Earth argues for saving that portion of the natural world from human control and pavement. We are already far past that so it implies serious re-wilding. Try selling that idea to Putin or Xi, to Exxon or Canada or Australia or Venezuela or Saudi or Kuwait or Sen Manchin of West Virginia.

Wilson was an avid field naturalist. It was there, not some sterile lab, where he founnd his facts, his insights, his truths.
“When we allow one species to die, we erase the web of relationships it maintained in life, with consequences that scientists seldom understand. In displacing wildness, our actions are ignorant and permanently destructive… As the pioneer environmentalist Barry Commoner observed as his Second Law of Ecology, ‘You cannot do just one thing’.” —Half-Earth Our Planet’s Fight for Life

Much will be written about Wilson, especially by those people who fear for the future of life here more than they puzzle out how to make their next billion dollars. Click for knowing review of Wilson as man and mental monument, in Smithsonian:
“Decades before it was in vogue, he [Wilson] recognized that our refusal to acknowledge the Earth’s limits, coupled with the unsustainability of perpetual economic growth, had set humans well on their way to ecological oblivion.”

Click here for standard wire service obit.

Click here–how an eye injury led Wilson to study ants.

Thetre are those who carry on the fight to save this planet as a placed to live, not just exploit, or control. One such is Andreas Malm (click here), far too radical for American media to deal with. Likely too radical for most American information or propaganda sources to mention.  He knows the current government and economic system is so deeply connected to fossil fuels that we are racing toward extinctions, perhaps our own among them.  To reverse course would  mean to reverse course. Nations and powerful men who have done well under this system would have to allow a new system! He would actually support replacing the current for-profit market economy with some serious effort to stop plantary destruction. Try selling that idea to Putin or Xi, to Exxon or Canada or Australia or Venezuela or Saudi or Kuwait or Texas or Sen Manchin of West Virginia.


  1. Thank you for the article and links. What an amazing man.

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