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Saving Other Species

Many articles, of which “In Search of Genetic Diversity” (front page, April 26) is one, describe the value to us of preserving the globe’s flora and fauna because of the potential of advancing medicine and agriculture from this gene pool. There is also the matter that destroying the forests may increase the greenhouse effect and inconvenience mankind. Rarely is it mentioned that species might also deserve saving for a nobler reason than how they directly benefit humans. I put some priority on the fact that we, a single, relatively recently arrived species and the other millions of species are sharing a cosmic journey that deserves continuing.

Our brains have let us create civilization, the industrial and technological revolutions, and the associated human population increases--to where now, while scarcely realizing it, we have assumed responsibility for the fate of the other species on this non-expanding Earth.

I am heartened by how many people are willing to exert themselves to save species that do not help with medicine, agriculture, or the greenhouse effect. For example, Monarca is an organization that works at saving the Monarch butterfly through preserving its wintering habitats. I suspect that in the long run we will find that saving “unnecessary” species is more important than we now realize. It is not just being noble.

PAUL B. MacCREADY

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Monrovia


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