“We have to let go of greed.”
COVER STORY: ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
An esteemed academic and marine ecology expert, Sargun Tont has also authored many books, penned magazine articles, and worked on documentaries and popular science series for TV.
Sargun Tont RC 59 ex
Why are oceans critical in environmental sustainability?
Oceans constitute 75% of planet earth and affect the planet’s climate. Also phytoplankton, a form of microalgae in the oceans, feed on carbon and produce oxygen, in fact, more than even the Amazon forest.
You have been involved in environmental sustainability issues for a long time. Has anything changed along the way?
The father of ecology Alexander von Humboldt said in nature everything affects everything else. Indeed sustainability has many different facets. Previously environmental sustainability seemed to revolve around matters like endangered species. The focus now is making do with less. If we do not overconsume in all areas of life, sustainability naturally follows.
Everything in nature is a gift to us. Science alone cannot address the complexities of sustainability. It has to be handled in a multidisciplinary manner. That is why art and ethics have also entered this field.
How do you view the future?
Turkey still ranks low in the amount of academic research in ecology/environmental studies. Yet I am hopeful. We have to let go of greed. The upcoming generation is very promising.
How did RC impact your life and career?
I published six books, and they are 80% about nature. The beginning of this love is definitely RC. I remember my teacher Mr. Gilchrist particularly fondly. He loved Wordsworth and recited his poetry with tears in his eyes. I learned to love nature in literature first, and the library is of course unforgettable.
Sargun Tont’s latest book, Odunluk Günlükleri, Darwin ve Doğa Üzerine Yeni Denemeler (Odunluk Chronicles, Darwin and New Essays on Nature, Ginko Press), will be published soon.
Published August 2021