Explore the wilderness with us… Edward O. Wilson was awarded the Hubbard Medal at the 125th Anniversary Gala of the National Geographic Society last week. Here we share some of his quotes from a 5 decade long career that revolutionized our thinking on the natural world. Within the next 10-15 years we will see the last-remaining wilderness area on earth dominated by the demands of growing human populations and undermined by accelerated climate change. When the earth’s last wild places are gone, all we will have are fenced off protected areas dependent on constant intervention to persist and marginalized by the demands of sustained development in emerging markets. Guides, rangers, researchers, ecotourists, photographers, artists and conservationists around the world apply themselves everyday to sharing, studying, photographing, writing about, protecting, conserving and celebrating the “wild” with their guests, co-workers, colleagues, and local communities. These amazing photographs are a window into their world, a world where the lions, elephants, orangutans and leopards still reign supreme and we can dream of that perfect morning in the wilderness.
Ranger Diaries and The Bush Boyes have teamed up to bring you the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness”. These stunning photographs are selected from hundreds of submissions and are intended to bring the beauty, freedom and splendor of the wilderness to as many people as possible around the world. Please submit your best photographs from the wildest places to the The Bush Boyes Facebook page or Ranger Diaries website, and stand a chance of being featured in the “Top 25 Photographs from the Wilderness” published each week. This initiative is all about SHARING and CARING about wild places. Please “Like” this blog post and share this link with as many people as possible… So begins the “Ranger Revolution”… Anyone can be an “Honorary Ranger” if they share and care about the wilderness, stimulating positive change for wild places around the world… Join the “Ranger Revolution” now!
“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times, and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.” E. O. Wilson
“The essence of humanity’s spiritual dilemma is that we evolved genetically to accept one truth and discovered another. Is there a way to erase the dilemma, to resolve the contradictions between the transcendentalist and the empiricist world views?” E. O. Wilson
“If all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.” E. O. Wilson
“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.” E. O. Wilson
“If those committed to the quest fail, they will be forgiven. When lost, they will find another way. The moral imperative of humanism is the endeavor alone, whether successful or not, provided the effort is honorable and failure memorable.” E. O. Wilson
“Without a trace of irony I can say I have been blessed with brilliant enemies. I owe them a great debt, because they redoubled my energies and drove me in new directions.” E. O. Wilson
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.” E. O. Wilson
“When you have seen one ant, one bird, one tree, you have not seen them all.” E. O. Wilson
“Political ideology can corrupt the mind, and science.” E. O. Wilson
“Every major religion today is a winner in the Darwinian struggle waged among cultures, and none ever flourished by tolerating its rivals.” E. O. Wilson
“Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.” E. O. Wilson
“Blind faith, no matter how passionately expressed, will not suffice. Science for its part will test relentlessly every assumption about the human condition.” E. O. Wilson
“By any reasonable measure of achievement, the faith of the Enlightenment thinkers in science was justified.” E. O. Wilson
“I tend to believe that religious dogma is a consequence of evolution.” E. O. Wilson
“We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.” E. O. Wilson
“Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, of virtue and sin, among the members of a society.” E. O. Wilson
“The human mind evolved to believe in the gods. It did not evolve to believe in biology.” E. O. Wilson
“Even as empiricism is winning the mind, transcendentalism continues to win the heart.” E. O. Wilson
“The education of women is the best way to save the environment.” E. O. Wilson
“Sometimes a concept is baffling not because it is profound but because it is wrong.” E. O. Wilson
“Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.” E. O. Wilson
“Competing is intense among humans, and within a group, selfish individuals always win. But in contests between groups, groups of altruists always beat groups of selfish individuals.” E. O. Wilson
“Every year, my brother (Chris Boyes), Pete (“the Nare”) Hugo, Giles (“Prince William”) Trevethick and I (Dr Steve Boyes) cross the Okavango Delta, top to bottom, on mokoros (dug-out canoes) to survey the distribution and abundance of wetland birds, advocate for World Heritage Status, and share this amazing wilderness with accompanying scientists, explorers and special guests. My wife, Dr Kirsten Wimberger, joined us for the first time this year. No one will forget what happened on the 2012 expedition…”
In 2013, we are embarking on the Okavango River Expedition. This will be a 1,750km odyssey down the Okavango River from the source near Huambo (Angola) all the way down the catchment, across the Caprivi Strip (Namibia), and into Botswana to cross the Okavango Delta via one of our planet’s last untouched wilderness areas. Our objective is to support the Okavango World Heritage Project and achieve UNESCO World Heritage Status for the Okavango Delta and the entire catchment. See: http://www.okavangofilm.com/
Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.
The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization that pushes the boundaries of exploration, furthering understanding of our world and empowering us all to generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance.
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