Letter: Diversity is key to planetary health


Science is ever more firmly linking human health to the health of the planet that spawned and nurtured us as a species for millions of years. The gut microbiome, for example, is a reflection of the health and abundance of local soil microbes, active in determining both our mental and physical health through our food. Specifically, it’s the diversity of soil nutrients provided by those diverse microorganisms that really matters. Your health is a direct function of the diversity of your local soil microflora. Simplified too much, as it currently is because of chemically-dominated farming practices, it is out of balance and we experience ill health, most often in the form of chronic degenerative disease.

We have been hell-bent on turning our planet into habitat for humans and not much else. Earth’s current Sixth Mass Extinction, of which we are the primary cause, is decimating our microbial diversity as well. As goes our planet’s diversity, so goes our future. Biological diversity is key to the long-term survivability of the human species. We can’t forget to leave room for all the other species that make this world healthy.

Diversity works in other critical arenas as well. Right now, you have your choice between supporting a political party of older white men and their outdated ideas or supporting a party of men and women of all ages, races and backgrounds looking ahead from a wide variety of perspectives to a future that is healthier for all, most particularly for our planet.

Donovan C. Wilkin