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!


January 08, 2009

Brian Finlayson

Department of Resource Management and Geography, The University of Melbourne

Today’s Date: 27 July 2008

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

Good Heavens! How can I answer such a broad question? The interaction with an animal that had most impact on me was my Samoyed dog 'Kim' with whom I lived for fifteen years. Possibly the biggest nature impact was growing up on the Fitzroy River in Central Queensland - fishing, canoeing, camping, sailing etc.

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

See above. The Fitzroy River.

Now? Probably the same though now I have a bigger boat and can go further out to sea.

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

The dog. See above.

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 biggest challenge now is our failure to develop and implement sound and sensible policies for the management of the environment. Right now we have become sidetracked with a focus on climate change. Climate has always been changing and the natural environment can handle it. Just look at what we are in the process of doing now. Setting up carbon emissions trading so that the urban fat cats can make a lot of money while the real issues of environmental management will still not be dealt with. Take, for example, the flows in rivers. The impacts we already have on river flows - and consequent impacts on the ecology of rivers - are much greater than anything that will occur through climate change short of the arrival of the next glacial period. Since the changes we have already made are linked up with market based uses of water (irrigation, urban water supplies, etc) nothing much will be done to alleviate the impacts from those pressures but we will all stand around and wring our hands about global climate change. The greatest challenge for the future? To be able to manage productive activities that impact on environmental services in such a way as to allow the full functioning of those services.

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

Recognise that we have developed an economic system in which we permit the costs of environmental degradation arising from productive activities to be externalised onto global society at large. The costs of environmental degradation should be met by the activities that cause them.

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