It’s amazing that people like John Terborgh and Alan Rabinowitz (“Nature’s Last Bastion,” September 1999), who want to “get the science right,” could overlook two crucial facts:
– Neither human population expansion nor economic growth are “given” absolutes. Invoking them to discount sustainability is flawed.
– “Keeping protected areas inviolate” is impossible when harmful substances can cross political boundaries through the air, soil and water table.
Imagining that economy and ecology could be separated is precisely what has gotten us where we are. When we acknowledge and act upon their integration, things will get better. Until then, nothing will.