CEO, Greenpeace USA
More than half of us in the United States will fight cancer in our lifetimes, and we rely on nature for cures. Since 60 percent of all new medicines—including many cancer treatments—come originally from nature, the human race cannot afford to drive species to extinction. Now is the time to strengthen and enforce the Endangered Species Act.[pullquote] It is clear that by saving species and their habitats, we are saving ourselves. [/pullquote]
And while we work to save ourselves, we are called to think bigger than any one species. We are called to defend the most important ecosystems—the safety nets that enable all life to exist on this fragile Earth.
For instance, ancient forests have not only produced some of our most important medicines—including the cancer drug Taxol—they are also home to around two-thirds of all plant and animal species found on land. Furthermore, these forests support millions of people who depend on them for survival. And they are vitally important to the health of our planet as a whole, especially when it comes to regulating the climate.
Another important ecosystem is the Arctic Ocean—the world’s last real frontier, and home to bowhead whales, polar bears, seals, and walruses. This ocean is getting a beating from climate change, and as climate change melts the Arctic’s ice, we face a choice. Will we add insult to injury by allowing drilling, overfishing, and pollution to further threaten Arctic life?
It is clear that by saving species and their habitats, we are saving ourselves.We will rely on the Endangered Species Act—and you—in this fight. The time is now.