What this movement needs

The environmental movement needs to reinvent itself away from grey beards with beakers, writing cheques to over-funded conservation groups, feeling good by saving the cute and cuddly animals like pandas.

The issues of climate change, destruction of ecosystems, loss of species, and over-exploitation are issues of human preservation on earth. The Earth will be just fine, as it has for billions of years. The oceans will recover after we’re gone. The question now is how many future generations will live in starvation and crisis because we’ve failed to wake up in time. We’re the newcomer on this planet and it’s our survival that’s in jeopardy.

For this, conservation has to become mainstream. It needs to be “cool.” There’s nothing cooler than saving life instead of destroying it, than preserving beauty, not exploiting it. If we can engage all audiences in the issue and its importance, and it becomes cool so people want to partake, we’re going to see huge changes.

We’ve spent the last few thousand years building a sophisticated global economy at the expense of the natural world. It’s time to change our economic models, time to shift our focus towards making money, generating jobs, and helping the economy by designing life, systems and tools that work in harmony with the natural world, not against it. There is simply no issue more important. Conservation is the preservation of human life on earth, and that, above all else, is worth fighting for.

Rob Stewart


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