Even though human-induced species extinction presently seems to rank
low on peoples’ attention scale compared to other political and societal
topics, this does not mean that its significance in earth history or its ecological
consequences have diminished in any way. It must repeatedly be
made clear that if current trends continue, within the next one hundred
years half of all our planet’s species will most likely have become extinct.
In the spirit of place, Steve Apfelbaum and his partner, Susan
Lehnhardt, have found a unique spiritual connection through
their love of the land. To be “rooted in the land” involves actively
participating in a known landscape. Steve and Susan have
worked directly on the land, connecting both with it and with
each other as members of a community of interdependent parts
—soils, waters, plants, and animals.
President Thabo Mbeki claims that he asked for Madlala-
Routledge’s resignation because she travelled to an AIDS vaccine
conference in Spain earlier in the year without receiving the required
permission to make the trip. But no one believes this petty transgression
to be the real issue. The fact of the matter is that Madlala-
Routledge’s direct and honest approach to AIDS and other health
challenges had placed her on a direct collision course with both
Mbeki and his health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang....
The foundation of human health rests on healthy, stable ecosystems. Our biotic
environment provides us with the fundamentals necessary for healthy lives—food,
water, oxygen, warmth, light, and fuel. Earth's ecosystems also supply the raw
materials for our health-care services. The global fraying of ecosystems has grave
implications for our health and our ability to treat illnesses, now and in the future.