In The End We Will Only Conserve What We Love

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Burrowing Owl

This quote came from a 1968 speech given by Baba Dioum; a conservationist and environmentalist, to the general assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.   These words are as powerful and thought provoking today as they were 46 years ago.



  1. Kathie August 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    So true!

  2. Jane Chesebrough August 25, 2014 at 11:56 am

    We do need education so we can learn to love what we consider is less lovable but most important to the survival of the whole picture.

  3. Glen Fox August 25, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Mia and followers,
    The following article and those that follow in this series may interest you. I’m also afraid that they may depress you.

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2014 at 10:57 am

      Glen, you are right on both accounts, this series interests and depresses me. Thank you for including this link. I see your work was also included in this article, it must be challenging to do these studies and get such alarming results.

    • Utahbooklover August 26, 2014 at 12:23 pm

      Thanks Glen for your work detecting PCBs in the Great Lakes and their sediments, and this interesting link. Yes, very sad the negative impact, especially on fish-eating birds (and humans) which assaults the endocrine system with adverse results on hormones and reproduction. This concept, I learned at the link, is known as “endocrine disruptor” and I urge all to read this “Winged Warning” and please share with others.

  4. Utahbooklover August 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I had to look up this thoughtful quote and found this at “The quote itself is derived from a 1968 speech made in New Delhi, India by the Senegalese environmentalist, Baba Dioum, to the general assembly of the International Union for Conservation of Nature . Mr. Dioum was born in Dahra, Senegal on October 15, 1937. He studied ecology at the Ecole Nationale des Eaux et Forets in Nancy, France where he received a degree in Forestry Engineering. Since that time his career has centered around environmental issues in Africa, including conservation, water and agricultural policy.”

  5. Elephant's Child August 24, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    So very true. And I wish it wasn’t. Far too many people seem to put money and possessions at the top of their list.

  6. Lois Bryan August 24, 2014 at 8:06 am

    Incredibly insightful … incredibly powerful. Beautiful, beautiful image to emphasize the thought.

  7. Danielle Montague-Judd August 24, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Thank you for this post. Needed now more than ever!

  8. Montanagirl August 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Thank you for this post, Mia. I think we need daily reminders about conserving nature – it’s slipping away bit by bit.

  9. Jolanta August 24, 2014 at 7:54 am

    Almost half a century has passed and nothing has changed, it’s sad.

  10. Patty Chadwick August 24, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Re:Koch brothers: ….money and power,…NOW!!!…not even care for their own future generations….they are, they represent “the Hollow People”

    • Mia McPherson August 24, 2014 at 6:21 am

      I agree Patty. I pity their stupidity and hollow lives. Can’t understand them at all.

  11. Glen Fox August 24, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Yes, Mia, and you do a wonderful job of teaching and instilling the love of Nature. Thank you for all you do and say!

    • Mia McPherson August 24, 2014 at 5:54 am

      So do you Glen. Think of how many people you touched in your career as an ornithologist and the ones you touch with your photography. We do teach and reach.

  12. Glen Fox August 24, 2014 at 4:47 am

    And if our first and strongest love is for money and stuff, as a society we will conserve little of anything of lasting value!

    • Mia McPherson August 24, 2014 at 4:52 am

      Glen, I thought about the Koch brothers while working on this post because it is obvious that the only thing they love and understand is money.

      But it isn’t too late for so many people if we reach out and teach them to love and conserve nature. If we touch one person with our love for nature it is a good thing.

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