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"You Can Feel It in Your Bones"


Dr. Winnie Hallwachs

GDFCF Vice President Winnie Hallwachs was recently featured in the Princeton Alumni Weekly for her work as a tropical biologist in Área de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). A graduate of Princeton University, Winnie spoke of the catastrophic collapse in tropical insect species and populations, a calamity she said is caused by climate change. “The situation is extremely serious,” she said. “We can hear, see, and feel the insect decline all around us. It’s like taking care of an aging parent. There are good days, but you know the way it’s going. You can feel it in your bones.” Winnie and her husband, GDFCF President Dan Janzen, wrote about this “insect Armageddon” in the January issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Costa Rica’s dry season is now six months, instead of four, and the annual rains are less predictable, temperatures are higher, and cloud cover is more sporadic. That article concluded with them writing, “This gradual change in climate is so omnipresent and perturbing that only minimal and currently unknowable recovery is likely.” Winnie added, in this article, “This wild world is hostage to a selfish, peculiar, strange primate who is us. There are two crises. The climate crisis gets a lot of funding, press, and proposed solutions that are sometimes very detrimental to the underdog crisis — the biodiversity crisis, which has been way undervalued.” The full article is here.