Thanks to my sister Michelle McIlroy for designing the logo!


Ever since I was a child, I have been very interested in nature and the environment. I have a B.S. degree in wildlife biology, and have worked as a zookeeper, wildlife biologist, and ecologist. I am conducting a brief survey of world leaders, government officials, religious leaders, corporate CEOs, environmental groups, wildlife experts, and others regarding nature and the environment. I am also very interested in religious views, customs, and beliefs from around the world, and the interactions between religion, culture, society, and the environment. This is something I am doing out of personal interest, and is not connected to any group or organization. I have been working on this project since the summer of 2006, and hope to eventually turn it into a book and/or documentary. I am hoping to make this into a global project, with responses from all segments of society. Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions or comments. If you have not already done so, I hope that you will consider taking part in my project, and please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested! Thanks for stopping by!


July 18, 2006


Private citizen (Australia)

Today’s Date: Wednesday 19th July, 2006

1. What interaction with an animal and/or nature in your life has had the biggest impact on you?

Sailing. As a kid, i went through a number of personal problems, and being able to get out on the ocean, away from people and problems, and do something I was good at, and get so connected in with the rhythms of nature was incredibly special, renewing, invigorating and rewarding. The rhythms one becomes aware of through sailing are major - the tides, and hence the moon, are one, but the seasons and the changes of weather within the seasons are another, and it goes right down to the cycles of waves (larger to smaller and back to larger) and the wind as it cycles left to right a bit and back (or vice versa) and the sequence of gusts and gradual increases and decreases through the day.

Sailing in a light wind was challenging, sailing in a gale in an 11' boat with 12' plus waves (some surfer friends I took out thought I was underestimating the wave size) was exhilarating - and I NEVER had the sense that I was "mastering" nature by doing any of this: I was being privileged to be allowed to have a glimpse into nature, and be allowed to share some of her energy, vibrancy and dynamism.

2. Did you have a favorite place in the great outdoors during your childhood?

Yes: being out on the water - any water would do, but especially the ocean. If not, then at least on the beach.

Now? The ocean, and being on water (my sun sign is Cancer, incidentally) are still important, but I don't get as much chance to do this as I used to. What is coming equally as significant to me is being amongst trees, especially groves. There is a nice grove near my home where I have sometimes gone to work rituals.

3. As a former zookeeper, I would love to know what your favorite animal is, and why?

I have a major fascination with dolphins, and the highlight of a three week cruise I did in the Whitsundays was seeing a few dolphins (spinner, I think - but that was over 20 years ago now), and watching one look back up at me as I looked at it: there was a strong sense of connection, and I've read articles talking of the intelligence of dolphins, their ability to help people with disabilities ("swimming with the dolphins") and even theories that they are the reincarnations of advanced souls. (I also liked the part of the book "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" which said humans thought they were more civilized while they invented fire and civilization while dolphin's splashed round in the water and had fun, and dolphins thought they were more civilized for exactly the same reason.)

Whales, particularly blue whales are a close second.

I also have to mention cats: I've always enjoyed having cats around, and have related well to them (I can't understand why some people have so much trouble understanding cats - maybe they expect cats to be like
dogs :) )

4. What do you think is the greatest environmental challenge facing us now, and what do you think will be the greatest challenge in the future?

Our greatest challenge now is the fallacy that, in order to have a decent life, we have to have an economy that is growing. Once that fallacy is corrected, I consider consumerism and other excessive uses of resources will start to die back.

In the future, if we get past that, I consider population growth, and the vast environmental, social and economic pressures that brings will become our next problem.

5. If you could give everyone one piece of advice regarding the environment and our natural resources, what would it be?

DO WHAT YOU CAN! Even if it is only having a compost bin, or turning off unnecessary lights, or not watering lawns, when everyone does what they can, it all adds up.

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