One man first recognized man-made Climate Change, inspired Charles Darwin’s journey into the Galapagos and revolutionized the concept of nature while braving the wilds of 19th century Central & South America.
Alexander von Humboldt set off to survey the new world, scaling volcanoes, exploring jungles and changing scientific thought. His radical theory that nature was a complex and interconnected global force, and not merely a tool for human civilization, laid the foundation of environmentalism.
Along with his theories, he was the first to suggest that South America was once connected to Africa and the first to propose that human activity could explain changes in the earth’s climate – which he reiterated upon in 1800 and 1831.
Charles Darwin, would site Humboldt as his primary influence for pursuing a vocation in Biology, leading to his theory of evolution. Humboldt’s influence extended across disciplines, placing him in social circles with Goethe, Schiller and Thomas Jefferson.
Even today he is considered a major influencer in the fields of biogeography, environmentalism, ecology, evolution and many more.
1.) Alexander von Humboldt. Wikipedia.