painting by Konstantin Stoitzner: Le petit journal
In 2000 I was asked to write a regular column for a periodical of the Open Universiteit intended for my colleagues and students in environmental sciences. The only restriction I had, besides a maximum number of words, was to focus at an environmental topic. For the rest, I could make my own choices. It was no heavy job. The periodical appeared only three times a year. It was a honourable request and I was glad to write the column. Again and again I treated novel issues, but always through biological spectacles, though my position varied. I often became inspired by events around our house. Although I liked the job, I could imagine that my biological spectacles became somewhat dull for other people. After a couple of years, I therefore proposed to pass the job to somebody else. However, people appeared to be totally content with my approach. My biologist's view was appreciated so much that an other biologist was asked to take over the job after my retirement.
Some of my columns were a start for my book 'Hoe rekbaar is onze planeet?' (How extensible is our planet?). I considered, for instance, the crane on top of some buildings, such as warehouses, as a metaphor for the ecological carrying capacity of the earth.