Sally Laughlin

Founding Director, Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Longtime environmental leader

Humanity must fully realize and continually remain aware of our place on this planet–we are only one of a myriad of species inhabiting this beautiful green and blue globe, and we are the only one capable of doing great harm to its fragile fabric of life. As individuals and as a species, we must live carefully and consciously with an eye to the long horizon of the future.

The only way to live healthily and sustainably is in balance and in harmony–with our planet Earth and with our own psyches. The alternative is disaster and destruction, both of ourselves as individuals and of our only home. The fabric of life on this globe is easily torn and repairable with great difficulty–if at all.

Human greed is the worst impediment–corporations running the world, running our politics, blind lust for wealth and power blinding people and nations to all that is of true value, and to our own and our Earth’s self-interest. Our tribal instincts allow us to believe all kinds of foolish unfounded nonsense about deities, the leaders who represent them, and how whichever group we belong to represents the chosen group or religion or tribe. Homo sapiens is deeply intelligent and inventive; we could widen our focus and move away from the instincts and emotions which evolved to operate on a tribal level, in a lightly populated world, and see ourselves and our planet as a whole.

If not us, who? If in Vermont, why not everywhere?

Sally birding for Bohemian Waxwings overlooking the waterfront, near Battery Park, in Burlington, VT. Photo by Andrea Robertson.

Sally birding for Bohemian Waxwings overlooking the waterfront, near Battery Park, in Burlington, VT. Photo by Andrea Robertson.