Challenges facing the planet This was one of my (Simon) favourite talks from the Maxwell Knight Symposium and we're very grateful to Paul Pearce-Kelly for allowing us to share his slides on the FFON website. The Frightened Face of Nature Paul Pearce-Kelly, ZSL Abstract If Maxwell Knight were writing his prescient Frightened Face of Nature today he would … Continue reading Challenges facing the planet

Global wildlife populations have halved in just 40 years” – WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014.

"Wildlife's continued decline highlights the urgent need for sustainable solutions to humanity’s increasing demand on our natural resources," reports WWF and ZSL in the Living Planet Report. Professor Ken Norris, Director of Science at the Zoological Society of London said: “The scale of biodiversity loss and damage to the very ecosystems that are essential to … Continue reading Global wildlife populations have halved in just 40 years” – WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014.

Maxwell Knight and The Frightened Face of Nature

M’s (Maxwell Knight) Spectre: The Frightened Face of Nature

During the 1960s Maxwell Knight - the real-life "M" - was working on a manuscript entitled The Frightened Face of Nature, snatching brief moments to record his thoughts on how man had treated nature so unfairly for the first fifty years of the twentieth century. The manuscript documented Knight's greatest fears that, time was running out for nature and that its greatest threat was man's destructive revolution and the reverse of evolution. “By all means let man use his great powers to invent new devices; let him give of his best to see that all shall benefit from his genius in curing, healing, and housing those in want. But do not suggest that this can only be done by destroying what is fine to look at or listen to, whether in the arts or nature. If human brains can find means of defying space, improving means of communication and bouncing pictures off satellites, surely he can also discover ways in which these things can be done without destruction – for destruction first is the cry of mad revolution and is the reverse of evolution.” - Maxwell Knight The manuscript was kept under lock and key and it remained a secret until 2015 when the (hitherto unpublished) manuscript was discovered inside M's personal filing cabinet... Copyright: see acknowledgements