Gary’s Letter

Gary the Mountain Gorilla has lived in what he knows to be a home of lush forest, warm summers, and biodiverse neighborhoods. To humans, this place has come to be known as Virunga National Park — one of Africa’s most ancient and well-preserved stretches of nature that lies in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo. To Gary, it was just called home — just as it was home to the many generations of mountain gorillas that had come before Gary.

Today, Gary sits solemnly in his favorite lobelia tree and reads the letter addressed to him from his dear pal, Paula the Polar Bear. He’d never met the white fluffy bear, but her life up in the Arctic sounded like it was in peril. Gary knew what that felt like. Paula wrote of her fearful young cub, Cody, as their ice-covered home slowly but surely melted away. Gary had never seen mountains of ice before; he only had the regular kind of mountain, the ones covered in vibrant greenery, like the lobelia he now sheltered under.

Dear Paula, he began his letter. It saddens me that your home, and the lives of you and your cub, are in danger due to human activity. And this was more than true. In his home in Virunga National Park — home to one of the world’s largest populations of endangered gorilla species — he often saw park rangers walking the grounds with a melancholy look on their faces. These humans were his friends, and they wanted to help Gary and his kind. In recent weeks, the human steps seem heavier, their smiles more forced, and their demeanor overall saddened, he explained in his letter.

Although Gary could not understand human communications perfectly, he could understand better than most animal species. Last week, one of Gary’s human friends had explained to him — thinking he would of course never understand — that large sections of Virunga National Park were to be auctioned off to oil and gas companies sometime in the near future. Continuing on with his letter, Gary explained this to Paula; My human friend explained to me that the leaders of something called, the Congo, had traded our home for what he calls “profit.” And indeed, this was true. Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, had argued that the destruction of the rainforest was worth it if it meant getting the human population out of poverty. Apparently, Gary explained, the humans have not figured out how to survive and thrive while preserving nature, and homes like yours and mine. Not to fret; there is still hope. My human friends have explained to me that some people, in yet another far away land have developed a strange currency — whatever that is — in order to incentivize humans to save our homes, and theirs too. It’s a strange word, something called a CRISPR Token. According to my human friends, the CRISPR token financially rewards, rather than strains, countries, and companies who work to save our planet.

Gary put all of his might into these words to will them into reality. He prayed that if profit directly aligned with conservationism, gorillas like himself, polar bears like Paula and Cody, and all the critters in between, would stand a chance.

With hope and optimism,




CRISPR is a personal net-zero token serving three distinct purposes: incentivizing, rewarding, and investing in the future of our health and planet.

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CRISPR is a personal net-zero token serving three distinct purposes: incentivizing, rewarding, and investing in the future of our health and planet.