In your editorial "Hope for the Rain Forests"( Nov. 28), you quote Ghillean T. Prance, the director of the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, as saying that botanists must "become engaged in 'economic botany, the study of useful plants.' "
It is because humans label species as useful or useless that we destroy rain forests, species, and our own habitat. This anthropocentric, shallow environmentalism can not possibly predict the long-range consequences of choosing one species over others. What is useless today may become useful to other generations.
All species, whether or not useful economically, have inherent value to themselves, other species, and the ecological scheme of life. We need to protect and study all species by rolling back industrialism and urbanism.