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Inspiration for RHS Global Impact Garden: Extinction

The Cover of the BestSelling book Sapiens by Yuval Harari
Yuval Noah Harari's book, Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind

'Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind' by Yuval Noah Harari, has been the inspiration behind my RHS Global Impact Garden: Extinction at Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2021.

It is a compelling read, giving fascinating insights and explanations into how our own species has come to dominate the world over such a short period of time.

Yuval explains how our revolutions in agriculture, industry and science, which we deem to be our greatest achievements, have changed us from roaming hunter-gatherers, and highlights the dependencies and inherent weaknesses that this has created.

The agricultural revolution encouraged us to create settlements and harness the power of growing our own crops. This forever changed our natural landscapes as the human population thrived from extra nourishment, leading to commercial crop production and limiting biodiversity as a result.

The industrial revolution, for all its advancements in infrastructure and manufacture, was fuelled by our exploitation of the world's natural resources and left us reliant on using polluting fossil fuels for more than a century.

The scientific revolution saw our species explore the world in new ways, across our vast oceans, across the sky and even into space!

Our successes have brought us to this time of reckoning, where we now realise that our exploitation and destruction of the earth's natural resources will eventually lead to the extinction of our natural world as we know it, and ultimately, our species too.

It is well known amongst scientists that planet earth has experienced five mass extinction events in its prehistory, including The Ice Age and the Extinction of the Dinosaurs among them. We now are on the brink of the sixth.

Aircraft has crashed in a commercial crop field
RHS Global Impact Garden: Extinction at Hampton Court Palace Festival 2021

This show garden addresses this 6th Mass Extinction threat to our planet.

Its purpose is to jolt people into both an understanding of the scale of the crisis and an appreciation of the scale of the behavioural change that we need to affect.

We have always believed that the radical change in our lifestyles was too hard, but Covid-19 proved that a radical change in behaviour is possible for the long-term survival of our natural world and our species, Homo sapiens.

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