• Will Sarni

Water, Woodlands and “Silent Running”

What is a “woodland?”


This was one of my questions during our most recent episode of The Stream to Dr. Piers Clark, Founder and Chairman of Isle Utilities, a specialist technology consulting firm. My question was less about the definition but more about how Piers, a leader in water technology innovation and clearly one who challenges the status quo, decided to purchase a woodland area in the UK. He is passionate about solving water and climate issues and most recently focused on his woodland property.

From our conversation with Piers , his connection and rationale for purchasing a woodland was clear. He values water and ecosystems. He doesn’t just value it from afar but is engaged in preserving the environment. What better way to value water and ecosystems than to devote time, energy and money in preserving natural capital!

Not only is Piers preserving this woodland ecosystem, but he is constantly engaging with others on the need to value water, natural ecosystems and address climate change. His work with Isle Group and most recently the Water Action Platform has had an impact on addressing current water challenges. The Water Action Platform began life to help utilities share information on Covid-19 but has now evolved to help 1500+ members from 92 countries share knowledge on reducing climate impact.

As a friend says, this is “living in the solution”. And water needs to be positioned as part of the solution, not problem.

You are likely wondering, what is the tie to “Silent Running?” Piers' commitment to valuing water and natural ecosystems reminded me of a 1972 science fiction movie about a future where all flora is extinct on Earth. An astronaut is given orders to destroy the last of Earth's botany, kept in a greenhouse aboard a spacecraft. The astronaut defies the order and persists in preserving the last remaining ecosystem. Almost 50 years later, we appear to be at the stage where “unreasonable people” are fighting to preserve natural ecosystems and water.

Thank you, Piers, for providing inspiration. We need more unreasonable people, meant in the best possible way, to ensure that natural ecosystems and water are valued and preserved.

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