Climate Change and Biological Diversity

Thomas E. Lovejoy, a conservation biologist, presented a lecture on climate change in January at the West Virginia University College of Law. Lovejoy explored the past and present impacts of climate change on nature and biodiversity as well as how managing ecosystems could reduce the amount of climate change that will occur. In 2012, Lovejoy received the Blue Planet Prize for his lifetime in conservation. He developed the “debt-for-nature” swap program for environmental protection projects. It is one of the largest sources of financing for international conservation, resulting in more than $1 billion in funding since 1987.

Lovejoy is an environmental science and policy professor at George Mason University. He founded the TV series NATURE on PBS, and was the first to use the term “biological diversity” in 1980. He holds B,S. and PhD degrees from Yale University.

“It is no exaggeration to say that Tom Lovejoy has devoted himself most dedicatedly, and single-mindedly, to the welfare of this earth,” said law professor Michael Blumenthal. “For almost a quarter century, he has worked on the interaction between climate change and biodiversity. Lovejoy has been a major force in saving the Amazon from total deforestation. Having him here at WVU to discuss these issues provides us with a rare opportunity to have a major thinker and activist provide examples of ways in which we can assure that there will indeed be a planet for our descendants to inhabit and to celebrate.”