New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands - 2008

on which its fate teetered. Some species were lost before policies and actions could protect them.

As if to counterbalance this dismal past, another stage in evolution has come to pass in New Zealand. Human beings have become aware of their responsibility for the natural world and have decided to sacrifice time, treasure, development, and even some rights in order to restore their country to its paradisiacal past, at least as much as it is possible to do so. This is indeed a huge mutation in the human genome—one that appreciates the physical beauty of nature, the interconnectedness of all life on earth, and works to protect the earth rather than exploit it in every way possible. This mutation has helped New Zealand create a public policy that is already allowing recovery in plants and animals, bringing some threatened species back from the brink and supporting others that are still in danger. Today the NZ human being has evolved past most of his fellow humans in this area; he has become the steward of the earth rather than the exploiter, the restorer rather than the plunderer, and the sharer of earth’s blessings with all the life-forms he encounters rather than the selfish total consumer of every good thing. Now there’s an evolutionary change we could wish on all humanity!

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