Patrick and the Prince…

This was the headline in the Vancouver Sun newspaper article that reprinted my correspondence with Prince Philip in his capacity as head of the World Wildlife Fund (known as the World Wide Fund for Nature in Europe). It all began with this Associated Press wire story that was filed in Geneva, Switzerland on March 11, 1996 and printed in thousands of newpapers around the world the next day. Here is part of the story that appeared in the Vancouver Province on March 12.

I don’t believe that 50,000 species are going extinct every year and most certainly don’t believe that the main cause of species extinction, however many there are, is commercial logging. I wrote the following letter to Prince Philip, challenging WWF on the subject of extinction.

Somewhat to my surprise a response to my letter came within two weeks. Prince Philip agreed with most of my points, in particular the point that commercial logging is in no way the main cause of species extinction. Here is his letter to me.

Since this exchange took place, I have challenged WWF to give me the Latin name of a single species that has become extinct due to forestry. To date I have not been provided with one, never mind the thousands they suggest. Why does WWF want the public to believe that logging is the main cause of species extinction? To get an idea, ask the question in a different way. If logging is not a major cause of species extinction, what other compelling reason is there to be against it? Just because it looks ugly for a few years as it begins to grow back? This is hardly sufficient cause to shut down one of the world’s most important industries, the industry that supplies the most renewable material resource used in human civilization.

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