The Biosphere Today

  • Keynote Paper


Wondering recently in London how to present this enormous subject to an enlightened but very mixed audience, I strolled out into St James’s and then through Green and Hyde Parks. The grass was still short and the trees were bare, but here and there fine clumps of daffodils and flashes of crocuses were in full bloom, and the ‘lakes’ were alive with all manner of waterfowl. In quiet corners I met more blackbirds than one generally sees in a long walk in the country—not to mention the hordes of pigeons and sparrows. Some early-flowering Prunus trees added a delicate tinge of pink. The entire prospect was delightful in early spring, though almost entirely artificial: not at all typical of the biosphere, but an impressive display of what man has created—and can do even better—when the will, knowledge, and money, are available. Given these last three prerequisites, it is also a portent of what we may expect to see more and more of in future, as human population burgeons and great cities multiply, extend, and ultimately coalesce.


Great Barrier Reef Green Revolution Biological Conservation Land Consolidation Environmental Future 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Nicholas Polunin 1972

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