Since 1970 half of Earth's wildlife has disappeared (WWF). To halt this mass extinction, the father of sociobiology E. O. Wilson, Sir David Attenborough, Gaia Hypothesis’ James Lovelock, the Royal Society, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are behind the MEMO Project. Oxford fantasist Philip Pullman is also a supporting patron.
This week Pulitzer prize-winning entomologist E. O. Wilson was involved in a, literally ground-breaking, ceremony by turning over the first shovel of rubble at the Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory (MEMO) site, off England’s Jurassic Coast. MEMO will be a museum and monument to renew public interest in biodiversity and species extinction.
MEMO is the collaboration of artists and scientists dedicated to raising a global beacon for biodiversity, to communicate the greatest mass extinction since the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Mandatory school curricula does not contain much natural history. Natural history needs to be brought back to education so that younger generations protect biodiversity. The mission of MEMO is to inform, to educate, and to inspire.
This global monument on the Jurassic Coast, where human knowledge of extinction was first seen written in the stone there, will be the tower of biodiversity. All of the carvings will be made from Portland Stone because Robert Hooke, the man who first recognised the concept of extinction, realised this by seeing fossils in Portland Stone.
The 10metre bell will be tolled each time another species becomes extinct. MEMO’s bell is call to the world for the damage that we are doing to our biodiversity. I am so happy that E. O. Wilson and his foundation are behind this architectural icon to planetary protection. MEMO will be a stunning stone structure, spiralling out of ancient cliffs, ringing out that ‘biodiversity matters’.
...to rival in scale the great medieval cathedrals of England. Instead of honouring God, however, the new stone edifice will pay tribute to all known species that have disappeared during the sixth great mass extinction that the planet has experienced in the 4.5bn-year history of life on Earth – and the only mass extinction caused by another species: man. Like St Paul's Cathedral, the Mass Extinction Monitoring Observatory (Memo) will be built from the fossil-rich Portland limestone of the Jurassic Coast.