We remember and celebrate Charles Darwin for his revolutionary theory on how humans,
animals and plants all evolved – shape-shifting over the millennia
But do you know of Darwin’s OTHER theory?
Step forward our President Elect Mike Dean who spoke to members on Tuesday 4th
September on how Charles Darwin not only postulated that whole new climate systems
could also develop but actually changed the climate of an Island within his own lifetime
Working with botanist Sir Joseph Hooker the pair embarked on the project of “terraforming”
the island of Ascension in the South Atlantic, changing it from a barren wilderness into a land
of lush tropical vegetation and with rainfall that had never existed before.
This miracle was achieved by importing thousands of cuttings and planting almost anything
on a “suck it and see” trial-and-error basis.
Some died, but many thrived and within 20 years what had been one solitary tree became a mini-jungle
The experiment became world-famous, has inspired many imitations and is even
seen as a blue-print (should that be green-print?) for how Mars may one day be
Fantasy? Don’t bet on it!