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Alexander von Humboldt (1769 – 1859)

The Man Who Revealed the Wonders of Nature

Over 200 years ago, people believed Planet Earth had an infinite amount of natural resources, and those who argued otherwise were ridiculed and accused of being pessimistic.

Among those ‘pessimists’ was Alexander von Humboldt, a 19th century German geographer, naturalist, and explorer. During his 5-year expedition to South America, and at every place he visited, Humboldt observed certain common patterns of relationships between man, animals, and nature. Whenever humans tried to alter their natural surroundings, the result would always end in disaster.

Due to his modern scientific approach, Humboldt was a very well-respected scientist, although his story of exploration reads like a romantic adventure. He spent all his life trying to make sense of everything he saw.

In 1827, Humboldt went to Berlin to give public lectures. These became so popular that he compiled them into a work called the “Kosmos”, with the first of five volumes published in 1845 when he was 76 years old. His message was that people have the power to upset the delicate balance of nature, and that it is our duty to respect the laws of nature while learning how we are a part of it. Humboldt died in 1859 at the age of 89 from ill-health