This is a story a friend gave to me. I am giving it to you.
And here is what I said: As a philosopher, I want to thank you for the honor of being invited to address fisheries scientists, and I want to acknowledge the courage and risk-taking behavior of the people who issued the invitation, especially because not many people think of philosophers as the life of the party.
It is impossible to hear the silence of vanished birdsong. We can't see the absence of rainbow fish in bleached coral reefs. The bodies of extinct frogs don't pile up around our knees. So we have to engage our imaginations every way we can, to understand that human activities are driving the Earth into a Sixth Extinction, bringing the Cenozoic Era to a close. Sixty-five million years ago, the violent impact of an asteroid killed perhaps eighty percent of the species then alive, including most dinosaurs and many creatures of the seas. And now, the planet reels from human violence: since 1970, 39 percent of terrestrial wildlife - gone, 39 percent of marine wildlife - gone, 76 percent of freshwater wildlife - gone.