Address and slide show, delivered by

Edward O. Wilson, Ph. D.

Pellegrino University Research Professor
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology
Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

April 28, 1998
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC

I want to be brief, and the more brief because of the superb introduction we have just had.

We are indeed at a crossroads. The choices of which road to follow I think are based on all of the efforts that have been accumulated by the disciplines of ecology island biogeography and forest management. So which of those roads that we should we should be following?

This is a decision that the country is about to make.  It’s a one time decision because of the rate at which the Ancient Forests are disappearing.

That unlike 'if we take the wrong road, it’s a trauma,' it would be unlike other national traumas which we get over after a period of time of recovery.

This would be a trauma that would be worse in its consequences and the perception of the consequences with time.

And similarly if we take the right approach, the benefits of that decision will grow and become more perceptible as time.

So let me present a few basic facts about America’s biodiversity.

When you clearcut or otherwise disturb naturally in some important manner you destroy native biodiversity, and cause species to go extinct.

And if I might have the lights dimmed.