Posted by: Mr. Austin | January 27, 2009

Eminent Ecologist, Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, To Guest On the 2-10-09 Show

CLICK HERE for AUDIO of BLUE PLANET ALMANAC 2-10-09 SHOW – it’s a good-sized file so please be patient if it takes a minute or two to load. Happy listening!

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Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, planet doctor

Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy, planet doctor

Thomas E. Lovejoy, III, eminent biologist, author and champion of a sustainable, green Earth will be my guest for the February show. If you’ve one of those unusual, blue planets which has supported millions of species and millions of years of life – and your planet’s feeling a little green around the gills – planet doctor Tom Lovejoy’s the man you want to go see. Tom’s experience in environmental influence and policy accomplishments is quite long, and we’ll be taking stock about the “State of The Earth” and what our listeners can do to encourage green in our own little microcosms of our larger planet. Blue Planet Almanac radio will next air on Tuesday, February 10th, 2009 at 2:00 PM Pacific Time at – be sure and listen in!

Tom is currently Biodiversity Chair for the H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment. He chairs The Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel of The United Nations Environment Programme, which advises its The U.N.’s Global Environment Facility, as well as served on science and environmental councils or committees under the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. You don’t want to miss the information the man has for us!

The Heinz Center Website tell us that Tom’s “…appreciation for wildlife and nature began at an early age. He has devoted his career to the environment, from studying biodiversity to creating the concept of debt-for-nature swaps and founding the PBS show, Nature. During the nearly 40 years Tom has maintained a research camp in the Amazon, he has hosted countless politicians, celebrities, and individuals who are eager to learn about the rainforest and how it is changing. Often referred to as the ‘Switzerland of Conservation,’ Tom is inspired in his work by the legacy of Senator John Heinz, who was a close friend: ‘John had a vision for a world where we would all work together to make it a better place. We bear a big responsibility in continuing his work and leaving a healthy planet for generations to come.”

After receiving his doctorate at Yale, he served as Vice President and Executive Vice President at the renowned World Wildlife Fund. In researching his astonishing background for the show, I discovered Dr. Warren Allmon’s introduction of  Tom in this recording of Cornell’s April 2008 Earth Week lectureand slides from Tom’s Climate Change Presentation are here. Allmon mentions these among Tom’s many accomplishments:

1.  Tom is believed by many to be the most important environmentalist of the last century, by accomplishing fundamental changes in a fashion which has had lasting effect. (That, my friends, is a big deal when you consider the likes of real-life legends such as David Brower or Rachel Carson. I don’t get the feeling that Tom’s the sort of man who would find the explanation of that claim a justifiable pursuit, but my aim in mentioning this is to bring to light the regard with which his opinions are held.)

2. In 2001, Tom became Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation, a foundation backed by Ted Turner.

3.  In 1998 Tom became the Chief Biodiversity Advisor to The World Bank

4.  In 1989-1992 he was selected for The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

5. In 1987 he was appointed Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs of the Smithsonian Institution, and directed Smithsonian programs toward attention to tropical deforestation

6. The first person credited with Debt-for-Nature Swaps which reduce or retire a developing nation’s debt when a country sets aside large tracts of land for conservation. He introduced the idea in Op-Ed piece in the New York Times. Now it’s a worldwide practice.

7. Tom is credited with popularizing the term “biological diversity” in print, in 1980.

8. Tom introduced the world to the issue of tropical deforestation.

Please join us in welcoming Tom to Blue Planet Almanac on 2-10-09 at 2:00 PM Pacific Time – and spread the word to your friends on little, blue planets!


  1. In an Environmental Issues class, we are studying from a book called
    Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues

    by Thomas A. Easton. One of the issues presented was, “Is Sustainable Development Compatible with Human Welfare?” The “yes” side of the argument was written by Jeremy Rifkin and it was titled “The European Dream: Building Sustainable Development in a Globally Connected World,” from E-Magazine (2005).

    One of the first questions he poses is, “So, what does Europe do better than America?”

    He states:
    – “The European dream focuses on inclusivity, diversity, sustainable development, social rights, and universal human rights.”

    Supporting Issues:
    – Europe has extremely heavy regulation on Genetically Engineered foods

    – Europe has implemented a program called “REACH: Registration, Evaluation, & Authorization of Chemicals,” which essentially is a program for companies to “prove that their products are safe.” If they are not, then they become banned

    – Europeans believe we (globally) are part of a “risk society” meaning “the impact of things like atomic bombs” make everyone vulnerable.

    – Europeans have “a love for the intrinsic value of nature”

    – They have implemented the “Precautionary Principle” – this allows them to regulate new technology/science. If something has “reasonable cause for concern” in relation to the environment, they are allowed to take action sooner rather than later

    – “< 0.3% of the US farmland is in organic production;" German has "3.2% organic agriculture." They intend to "increase this by 20% by 2020"

    – Survey done in "British households shows that 80% buy organic food, whereas only 33% do in America."

    This is something in need of discussion. It is a very interesting topic; especially one that should be studied more. Plus, it really emphasizes that Americans need to put aside their "we can figure it out by ourselves" attitude and start following another country’s lead.


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