Guest Comment: There is much that is wise, but still undesirable.
Many have discovered that the city is more friendly to nature than the countryside. Some envision a future where we are all city dwellers, and the rest of the world is nature. But do we want it that way?
Biodiversity is threatened
Biologist and environmental thinker Edward O. Wilson He died this winter, 92 years old. He was a friendly man, an important biologist, and a generator of creative ideas. He had the ability to cross out the essence of the problem and then present it as a slogan. People allowed themselves to move.
Wilson began discussing social biology with the book social biology In 1975, the previous year Richard Dawkins for the first time with The “selfish gene”. Later, he started raising awareness about biodiversity through the book “diversity of life” (1992).
In recent years, he has been interested in the relationship between man and nature, and launched in the book “Half Earth” (2016) The idea that half the land should be set aside as protected areas. Which, in his opinion, could lead to the survival of 80 percent of the species of living things on planet Earth.
The idea has become popular among “re-wilders”, those who want to reconstruct the landscapes of the past, “real” landscapes. Environmentally conscious politicians have also taken an interest.
Wilson’s idea is as good as it is simple and necessary. Biodiversity is threatened, so we must ensure a living space for others other than ourselves.
Between 10 and 20 percent of the Earth’s surface is already protected, so we can at least dream about it half the earth It could be realized sometime in the future. But it will cost money and affect food production – to name a few of the biggest bumps in the road.
After a few years of excitement, my doubts began to surface, but for other reasons.
Eric Tonstad: “It’s time to find the meadow of flowers”
Life in the skyscrapers
It is easy to say that we should protect half the earth, but half the earth does not wait for protection. It is already in use. So unless we accept “Norwegian Nature Conservation” – turning mountaintops and hills into national parks, while leaving biologically valuable lowland habitats at risk – achieving “half the world” will be very devastating for many. Many people will have to move.
to half the earth Of course, centralization requires that we live close to each other, surrounded by carefully planned infrastructure which also slips into food production areas, which in turn provides space for ‘nature’ imperceptibly. Entomologist and environmentally committed author Dave Goulson He enthusiastically describes such a future in the book Silent Planet (2021).
It is a dream world where people take the elevator to work, a world that is easy to improve and energy saving. From an environmental point of view, this makes sense. More people could be involved in expensive formulations, and we would consume less per capita.
This would certainly be great for nature, but also for those who love to guide and take care – a dream for people who have numbered edges in their panties.
Just to be clear, centralization is an ongoing process no matter what the idealists might want. And people can feel much better in cities than in green spaces. Therefore, large-scale immigration began already during the industrial revolution of the eighteenth century.
However, millions upon millions of people will be against life in skyscrapers. How do we deal with this in the dream of future idealists?
Should we allow those who do not want to move to other places to continue their low-energy lives, cutting down their trees, burning their fires, and planting potatoes where they find them very good?
We must take a look in time.
Eric Tonstad: “We’ll leave nature to posterity, won’t we?”
We regard the wilderness as nature untouched by human hands, and we consider man himself to be “unnatural”.
The Native American tribe that lived here called themselves Ahwahnechee (Residents), but they did not fit into the dream. They have lived here for 4,000 years, but this did not stop the work on their removal. Crops were burned, villages were destroyed.
This practice continued until World War II, when the Nazis overthrew the Poles Biauviehaskogen to the national park. Today, these are the largest remnants of the deciduous forests that covered Europe thousands of years ago. In order to achieve the desired degree of “wild”, the population was removed, similar to the Nazis.
It continues, albeit in somewhat more civilized forms. People are forced from their small farms in the rainforests to the cities. However, it is useful to nature, but not to people.
Klaus Mohn: “Drawing of encroachment on nature will provide insight into the actual cost of losing nature”
Man is also nature
Conservationists today are aware of the problem, and many politicians are alike, so perhaps ‘indigenous’ will feel safe in the future half the earth. But what considerations shall we make of “normal people”, that is, the millions upon millions of completely genetically and culturally normal and not particularly interesting people who also think they belong somewhere? But he who also settled somewhere will be known to society as a wilderness.
Conflicts are already underway, and will of course escalate.
Before we get there, we have to come to terms with the idea that humans are also nature, even those who are not “alert” — and that it is ideal to demand that 7 billion people live on Earth without leaving a trace.
We should not only think of smart cities and skyscrapers, we should think of “unspoiled” nature full of people.
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