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Half Earth

April 13, 2016

A famous biologist proposes protecting biodiversity by limiting the activities of Homo sapiens to just half the planet.



Planet Earth, as photographed by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/GSFC/ASU)


Creating a global garden. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Sixty-five million years ago, an asteroid struck the Yucatan Peninsula so violently that seventy percent of all species on earth perished. According to Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson, today, humans are having a similar impact, threatening to wipe out more than half of Earth’s species by the end of the century. At the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and in a new book called Half-Earth, he proposed devoting half of our planet to species preservation.

E.O. WILSON (Harvard University):

The world is full of opportunities to set aside small, to medium, to large reserves, and do it now, and we would stop extinction in its tracks.


As audacious as it sounds, he says that vast stretches of ocean could be set aside relatively painlessly, and countries could work together to protect the most bio-diverse swaths of land. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.

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