Letter from the Editor
by Tristan Evarts
15. 24. 7.
That isn’t the combination to my bank safe. Those are the number of species that went extinct in 2020, 2019, and 2018 respectively. Doubtless the numbers are higher than that, it takes time to confirm extinction. Among the beautiful plants and animals our planet earth has lost, the Spix’s Macaw, the Eastern Puma, Nobregaea latinervis, Victorian grasslands earless dragon, the Agave lurida, the spined dwarf mantis, and Jalpa false brook salamander.
It’s possible you haven’t heard of many of these species. I certainly hadn’t. Which marks the greatest tragedy of our age—that we can lose dozens of animals and plants before we have the chance to admire how beautiful, unique, and incredible they are. In the next decade we are at risk of thousands of species vanishing forever.
When Earth Day began in the early 1970s it was seen as a day to honor peace and the Earth. Over the years it gained traction, becoming an entire week which communities use to teach and focus on environmental protection. Just last year the day celebrated its 50th anniversary and in the midst of the uncertainty and turmoil of the world over 100 million people paused to observe Earth Day. It became the single largest online mobilization ever recorded.
We live in a hungry world, a world of consumption where 43,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere each year in order to fuel our industry and lifestyle. Where grazing livestock and demand for exotic flora and fauna drive a strong economy. We live in a world where it is more than likely species are driven extinct before we even discover them. If it sounds bleak, that’s because it is.
But the Earth continues to demonstrate the remarkable diversity of its ecosphere. While we are faced with increasing species at risk of extinction there are scientists tirelessly searching, cataloguing, and discovering. New species are found every year, far more than the number of species that go extinct. We walk a tremulous line and it would be very simple to throw it in and despair. But that would be too easy of an option. And while there are still wonders to be discovered, we should continue to hope to strive to better ourselves and the way we care about the world around us. Through protests, through donation to the organizations that fight for conservationism, or through literature.
This issue is dedicated to Earth Day. In remembrance of the species we’ve lost and in recognition of the wonder, beauty, and awe of those yet to be discovered. Let us go, dear reader, boldly, if not quietly, towards a new world. Onward into a future we can save, filled with optimism. Remember the number of new species we’ve discovered the last few years. From 2018 to 2020:
229. 71. 213.
Yours with greatest respect,
Utopia Science Fiction Magazine
Tristan Evarts is the founder and editor-in-chief of Utopia Science Fiction Magazine. He has degrees in English, Philosophy, and Library Science.
Editorials by Tristan Evarts:
Letter from the Editor, August 2021
Letter from the Editor, April 2021
Letter from the Editor, August 2020
Letter from the Editor, June 2020
Letter from the Editor, April 2020
Letter from the Editor, February 2020
Letter from the Editor, December 2019
Letter from the Editor, October 2019
Letter from the Editor, August 2019