Sunday, April 4, 2010

Welcome to the Ecolympics Blog!

Greetings fellow Ecolympians! If you've seen our FAQ you know what we're about. Here's a brief summary: this is the UN's International Year of Biodiversity, which, as they say here, "is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity".

“Biodiversity” refers to the diversity of plant and animal life in an ecosystem or in the world as a whole. Unfortunately, Earth’s biodiversity is now suffering losses at accelerating and historic rates due primarily to human activities. These activities include pollution, habitat loss and introduction of invasive species and the loss will be exacerbated by climate change.

So, the Ecolympics are designed as a series of fun, self-run events to help us all become aware of the human impact on our environment. They are sponsored by the College of Arts and Science's Core Curriculum here at Boston University. But anyone can participate. Our prizes are limited to present Boston University people, but we hope that wherever you are in the world, you'll sign-up and participate. In fact, we hope any participant anywhere will take our oath (at the bottom of the sign-up page) to heart and challenge friends to participate, creating their own prizes in the process.

Biodiversity loss is a global problem that, simply put, can only be bad news for humans. Scientists have catalogued some 1.5 million species and don't know how many more there are. So we are losing species before we can count them, let alone study them. By each of us exploring the repercussions of how we live our lives, how we use energy and water, how we eat and how we spend our dollars we can hopefully start reducing biodiversity loss.

Check out our resources. Send us links. Write on our Facebook wall with your thoughts, links and photos. Advertise us. It's our planet, our environment and these are our species. (Recently I saw a video that mentioned if aliens invaded and started taking or killing our species, we'd definitely fight back. Now is our chance.)

Here's a quote from E.O. Wilson's Pulitzer prizewinning book, The Diversity of Life: "[A] panda or a sequoia represents a magnitude of evolution that comes along only rarely. It takes a stroke of luck and a long period of probing, experimentation and failure. Such a creation is part of deep history and the planet does not have the means nor we the time to see it repeated."

In just under two weeks, we're going to announce, "Let the Games begin!" If you're at BU, sign-up by April 9 to qualify to win a copy of The Omnivore's Dilemma. If you're beyond-BU, sign-up anyway to help us generate some buzz.

We value your participation and are excited you want to be a part of these Ecolympics.

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