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

Dr. Peter Coyne

(formerly) Planning Coordinator, Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service - now retired

Today’s Date: 25 July 2008

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

Snorkeling with humpback whales. For four consecutive days we swam with the same mother and month-old calf. Mostly the mother rested about 60 feet down while the calf came up to the surface to breathe every few minutes, when it would often come to within a few metres of us to check us out. Mother would watch us from time to time and, satisfied we were not a threat to her calf, would then close her eyes and relax. When the calf was tired one day, the mother rested just below the surface so the calf could lie on her head and breathe without having to move more than a metre. Both mother and calf were very careful not to harm us when they were close enough to do so. Observing the strong emotional bond between mother and calf was a revelation; they are extremely intelligent and sensitive animals. This experience greatly increased my concern about commercial whaling, which requires these magnificent animals to die slowly in extreme agony. Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean whale sanctuary aims to kill about 1000 whales each year for commercial butchering while pretending it is for research to sidestep the international ban on such activity.

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

The mountains

Now? Too hard to answer - I still love mountains but have found so many other wonderful natural areas.

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

Border collie dogs - they are incredibly intelligent, sensitive and communicative, unlike any other breed of dog or other animal I have known. They learn to understand a lot of language and interact with humans much like a 2-3 year old child. Without being able to say a word, mine answers questions very clearly, even questions I did not expect her to understand.

Favourite wild animal - many contenders but being wild is prerequisite.

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?

Climate change now and in the future. I greatly fear its impact on the very poor people in developing countries, who face increasing "natural" disasters such as
- permanent drought in some places causing mass mortality,
- increased flooding in other places (on a scale to kill millions of people in short-term floods and destroying the homelands of tens of millions more by rising sea levels),
- more frequent and severe storms,
- disruption of natural systems on which people depend ... and many more.

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

Do all you can to influence your national government to take urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of acting now is much less than the cost of doing nothing. This is really urgent because the situation is worse than people realise and the official forecasts are much too conservative.

"We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children." ~Native American proverb

That is so true. Please pressure the US government to take climate change seriously and act urgently. Blocking international action is causing so much future harm.

No comments:

Post a Comment