Wilson’s Law of conservation

The renowned biologist EO Wilson on conservation, and what he unabashedly calls Wilson’s Law:

If you save the living environment, the biodiversity that we have left, you will also automatically save the physical environment, too. But If you only save the physical environment, you will ultimately lose both.

Given the prominence of climate change and the relatively minor attention paid to biodiversity, Wilson’s law is particularly relevant.

Most environmental debate of late, [Wilson] said, has focused on protecting the physical environment – the climate, water supplies, air quality. But in the meantime the planet’s veneer of living things, he said, has been up-ended in countless ways whose consequences we can only guess, particularly given how little is known about the living world.

His concern? While the fight for progress on daunting issues like curbing greenhouse gases grinds on, the battle could be lost if Earth’s last rich nodes of biological bounty dwindle and blink out in the meantime…

For the moment, the battle for biology is failing, he said, noting the steady string of extinctions of larger creatures of late, which presumably are attended by countless vanishings of the species he most cherishes, the hidden wonders we have not yet even catalogued, let alone comprehended

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