As a child in the Uinta Basin in northeastern Utah I watched as summer evenings were lighted in the crop fields, forest meadows and along desert streams by tiny insects which we called fireflies. Like tiny stars floating all around us these insects with their glowing bodies danced throughout the darkness each night.
Nights are all dark now. These precious little insects with their bodies aglow are gone.
When I learned to drive a car many years ago, I was saddened with each summer night drive that the lives of so many little insects searching for food or courtship had suddenly ended upon the grill and windshield of my passing vehicle.
Now my windshield and grill are never marked with the bodies of dead insects. Now I am frightened and saddened that those insects no longer even exist to search for food or courtship. They have died from chemical exposure in an environment which is too toxic for their fragile lives to continue.
As a boy roaming the farmlands and mountains of the Uinta Basin, I loved to see greenish splotched leopard frogs as they leapt into or sat in the shallows of in the ponds, lakes and streams. The eclectic sound of their croaking was a symbol that all was well in the waterways.
Now the ponds, lakes and streams are silent. The green splotched frogs no longer leap into the water or linger in the shallows. All is not well in the waterways.
With the current trajectory of species eliminated within my brief lifetime, one million of the approximately eight million species on Earth will no longer exist for future generations of humanity to share our planet with.
When I was a boy in Utah I had never seen the animals of Africa roaming freely upon that continent so far away. Even then the Cape Lion with it’s grand mane no longer existed except as trophy carcasses in dusty glass cases, but in central Africa thousands of Northern White Rhinos roamed free, not knowing their species too would soon no longer exist, with the last remnants of their bodies in bottles of fake cures for illness and on the handles of show knives. Currently only two Northern White Rhinos, and old mother and her daughter, exist.
When I served as a missionary in South Africa, I often sought out opportunities to observe the magnificent species which then existed in large preserves set aside for them. My first sight of giraffes striding quickly across the landscape was a moment spectacular to behold, With no apparent exertion they seemed to float forward as their long legs gracefully reached beyond them with each step.