ROZ’S MUSINGS – Noah’s Ark

Roz Townsend PhotographHello and welcome readers to my little corner of the world.

I suppose many of you are familiar with the famous story of Noah’s Ark. It was a gigantic wooden vessel in which Noah supposedly saved every kind of animal of the Earth from the ‘great flood’. The story is part of the Torah, the Bible and the Qur’an.

I love the power of story-telling to get us thinking about our lives and Noah’s Ark is no exception. According to the story – Noah saved every animal. He didn’t have to choose which animals would have a place aboard his ark. Every creature was saved.

As most of you know my articles come to you from my home/office in Australia. I was thinking that is a pity that we do not have a modern-day Noah, as the species remaining on the planet today are not quite as lucky.

Australia would not make a very good Noah as more than 100 plants and animals have disappeared in the past two centuries. The sea-level rise from global warming is different from the legendary flood of Noah’s time, but climate change will threaten many plants and animals.

Globally, the rate of species lost forever is between 100 times greater and 1000 times greater than the natural extinction rate since humans colonised the planet.

The number of endangered species in India for example is 8.86% of the world’s mammal population – including Siberian Tigers, Asian Elephants and the Golden Leopards.

This is where the importance story-telling becomes interesting as the question arises: which species do we save? Typically the beautiful, cute animals are the heroes of the stories of yore while the more grotesque in appearance are seen as the baddies. How will this condition our thinking of conservation?

What will our children and grandchildren value? Will they appreciate a species’ uniqueness, or the contribution to biodiversity, or its usefulness? Or should all species be valued equally?

Perhaps it is time to revisit the story of Noah’s Ark and value all species not just those that are likely to go extinct or the ‘prettiest’ vertebrates or plants.

So dear reader, what are you doing to protect biodiversity in your part of the world?

Live! Love! Laugh!

Roz Townsend | www.roztownsend.com

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