Saturday, August 11, 2007

RIP Wolf Hilbertz

Wolf Hilbertz, a good friend of the planet and to many of us, died at about 2:37 this morning, German time. I will remember him for many reasons, including this account from his first journey to Saya de Malha:
We encountered a unique meteorological phenomenon on the North Bank: the sea was flatter than a mirror, a cloudless night sky, and the stars were so brilliantly reflected by the sea surface that one was deceived in thinking one saw the sky there. The horizon had shifted and all the gods were enjoying themselves. This clearly was a once-in-a-lifetime and profound experience. Tom [Goreau] can make the scientific explanation available to you.
Tom Goreau writes:
I'm heartbroken to hear this tragic news. You can be sure that we will do all we can to ensure that the legacy of his pioneering work in the oceans will never be forgotten.
As Wolf would say, "Ja!, Prinzip Hoffnung [the principle of hope]!"


Blogger Rosario said...

I never had the good fortune of meeting Wolf in person. However, we had the good fortune of exchanging philosophical thoughts on the ecology of the planet in concert with Dr. Tom Goreau et al through emails back and forth. I must say quite assertively that our engagements were most intellectually stimulating and inspiring to say the least. He won my respect in many ways and most particularly as a pioneer in coral reef restoration. In unison with Tom, I concur that we will do all we can to see that his legacy lives on for future generations. For as Theodore Roosevelt once declared of men like Wolf, "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

3:09 am  

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