Former Harvard biology professor E.O. Wilson is without doubt one of the most revered and revered conservationists alive at this time.

So that you may discover it curious that his largest concern isn’t local weather change or the continuing mass extinction that destroys an estimated 150-200 species every day.

Nope. It’s Donald Trump.

“My major fear proper now’s that the Republican candidate may win the election,” Wilson mentioned in an interview with The Huffington Submit and its Hawaii companion Honolulu Civil Beat on the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Conservation Congress in Honolulu.

Rick Friedman by way of Getty Pictures

Retired Harvard College professor E.O. Wilson, pictured right here in his campus workplace, sat down with The Huffington Submit and Hawaii companion Honolulu Civil Beat through the world’s largest conservation occasion.

The congress, which is being held within the U.S. for the primary time in IUCN’s 68-year historical past, is the world’s largest environmental and nature conservation event and is sometimes called the Olympics of conservation. This yr’s occasion drew greater than 9,000 delegates from 190 nations.

Many within the environmental neighborhood would place Wilson in the identical pantheon as John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Henry David Thoreau.

Wilson has received two Pulitzer Prizes for his insights into nature and the way it influences the human situation. The 87-year-old is often known as the “Father of Biodiversity” for his dogged dedication to guard plant and animal species and protect the general well being of the planet.

Within the interview, Wilson dismissed the notion of a Trump presidency with a chuckle, predicting the businessman received’t show victorious over Hillary Clinton in November.

For that motive, he provided a second “biggest concern.”

“My major fear is nuclear warfare, appropriately for everyone,” Wilson mentioned, including it might come because of “some silly mistake.”

“If we had a battle with nuclear weapons use it will be horribly damaging,” he pressured. “So my major concern — discover I bounced away from organic variety, as a result of I’m involved concerning the human species too — can be nuclear warfare.”

 

Nukes apart, Wilson mentioned local weather change is the largest environmental problem dealing with the globe. Second to that’s the lack of plant and animal species to extinction, which he mentioned makes the globe much less secure and is a “horrible, pointless destruction of our most sanctioned heritage.”

The scientific neighborhood has overwhelmingly accepted the realities of local weather change, together with the function human beings have performed in driving international temperatures.

Nonetheless, many, together with a big p.c of Republican politicians, proceed to disclaim its existence. Wilson mentioned he thinks that denial just isn’t a results of ignorance however “willful opposition” by individuals who can be negatively impacted, both financially or politically, by efforts to cease local weather change.

Wilson now advocates for setting apart half the Earth’s floor for nature in order that it may stay undisturbed by people. It was the topic of his newest guide, Half-Earth, and his handle to the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

Though the world faces many threats, Wilson wasn’t all doom and gloom. There’s been a shift in public consciousness, which he mentioned offers him nice hope for the long run.

“We’re going inexperienced,” he mentioned. “It’s pastel inexperienced, but it surely’s nonetheless inexperienced.”

Nick Grube of Honolulu Civil Beat contributed to this report.

Editor’s observe: Donald Trump frequently incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of a complete faith — from coming into the U.S.

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