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Conservation Scientist Discusses Problems, Potential in the Environmental Movement

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A leading conservation scientist will speak at the University of Louisville tomorrow about the ways the environmental movement can better tackle subjects like climate change.M. Sanjayan is the Nature Conservancy’s lead scientist and a wildlife research professor. He says today, the relationship between people and nature is symbiotic. The planet isn’t pure and pristine anymore—instead, it’s been shaped by more than 20,000 years of human habitation. Sanjayan says it’s important to see humans as part of the solution to fixing the earth’s environmental problems.“Both need each other,” he said. “In the modern environment, in a world of 7 billion, nature does need people. But even more so, people need nature.”Sanjayan says for the environmental movement to succeed in the face of problems like climate change, it has to include three key constituencies that it’s long ignored. He says one of those groups is the business community.“We have to be much more thoughtful about how we engage with business and co-opt business as an ally,” he said. “Because for the business community, availability of resources becomes so important for them to be able to then supply to 7 billion people. I think we leave a lot on the table by simply thinking about business as the enemy.”Sanjayan will speak at the University of Louisville tomorrow evening at 6:00.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.