Sanders discusses ‘Conservationist Manifesto’

Autumn Simon
Staff Writer

Freshmen and faculty listened to renowned author Scott Russell Sanders answer critical questions about mankind’s responsibility to the preservation of the earth during two lectures on Wednesday in Morgan Auditorium.

Sanders was invited to the University to discuss his book “A Conservationist Manifesto,” which has been chosen for the One Book, One University program, a program where freshmen are required to participate in a common reading program in their FLEX Learning Community.

“Growing up with pollution and its effects on my hometown made me environmentally aware,” Sanders said. “I became aware and began reading books about the topic like ‘Hiroshima’ by John Hersey and ‘Silent Spring’ by Rachel Carson.”

Sanders displayed images of declined forests, oil fields, fossil fuels, glaciers and over population throughout the world, which lead to the decline of 75 percent of freshwater, 39 percent terrestrial and 39 percent marine animals.

His book shows the crucial relevance of a conservation ethic at a time of mounting concern about global climate change, depletion of natural resources, extinction of species, and the economic inequities between rich and poor nations.

“Though I haven’t read the book from cover to cover, his belief is evident with how he wants to make his readers more aware about our actions and how they impact the environment,” freshman biology major Casey Santillan said.

“Conservation is not simply a personal virtue but a public one,” Sanders said. “Do something in your lives, change how we produce food, how we use water, or even transportation.”

Sanders said people either ignore the problem, accept the problem, expect big businesses to help or decide to help the situation themselves.

“People have to inform themselves, learn about the problems in their community and realize they have the power to purchase reasonably and use resources efficiently,” he said.

Autumn Simon can be reached at

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