The Influencers


Greta Thunberg is not alone in her plea to save the planet. Here are others who came before warning of our wasteful ways.
Starting with Jacque Cousteau, the French Navel officer and explorer on the bottom left, whose adventures aboard The Calypso brought oceanographic science to the world, in addition to co-inventing the Aqua-Lung.  I included Jane Goodall from Great Britain, probably the most well-known conservationist who for more than 60 years, from her early mission in Tanzania working with gorillas to her “Roots and Shoots” program and current podcasts, she reaches millions of people worldwide. Above Jane to the left is Wangari Maathai, who was awarded the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her work in sustainable environment and human rights. Her “Green Belt Movement” is responsible for planting over 45 million trees across Africa! I’ve planted about a dozen, so no prize for me.
Next to Maathai, the guy with the weird beard is Henry David Thoreau, whose writings should be mandatory for the entire planet. They are the foundation and inspiration for the conservation movement worldwide. “Walden”, and “Civil Disobedience” are my favorites. Next to Thoreau is Alexander Von Humboldt – Von Humboldt was an 18th Century German explorer who is considered the “Father of Ecology”, he was the first to recognize that humans, by their activity, could change the environment. He was a scientist and naturalist, writer and explorer contributing to weather forecasting, discovered the Equator and was the biggest inspiration for Charles Darwin to set forth on “The Beagle”. So without Von Humboldt, no On The Origin of the Species – no evolutionary theory.
Next we have Rachel Carson, American biologist, who conducted work on pesticides and wrote the monumental work, Silent Spring resulting in the banning of DDT and inspired the environmental movement that led to the creation of the EPA.
Next is Theodore Roosevelt, whose motivation for conservatism is questionable, had to be included because after becoming president in 1901, Roosevelt used his authority to establish 150 national forests, 51 federal bird reserves, four national game preserves, five national parks and 18 national monuments on over 230 million acres of public land. So he’s actually done more than anyone in the US.
On the bottom right is John Muir, the Scottish environmentalist who was influenced by Thoreau and Von Humboldt. He in turn, influenced Roosevelt to create Yellowstone, Yosemite, Sequoia, Mount Rainier, Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon and founded the Sierra Club.
And in the center is Greta. Who will she influence?

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