Extension Wildlife & Fisheries Specialists Conferences


Date of this Version

June 1996


Published in W. Daniel Edge, ed. Proceedings of the 8th National Extension Wildlife and Fisheries Specialists Workshop: Educational Challenges for the 21st Century. [1996] Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, 1998.


Planet Earth is a magnificent mix of things that make "living" possible. Delicate mixtures of chemicals, minerals, gases, and waters bathe us. Earth is just the right distance from our sun to provide the energy, driving all the systems—necessary for life—as we know it. Some refer to this as the Great Balance of Life.

How well are these systems balanced, and what would it take for the Planet to lose its ability to create and sustain Life?

We are all aware of the long list of environmental problems facing us. We are also aware of the scientific uncertainties that make it difficult to predict the seriousness of these issues. We debate whether the problems merit the seemingly drastic measures often prescribed to correct them.