One of the most heinous of the white man’s many evil acts is the utter devastation he has visited on the natural world and wildlife. It is hard to believe that just a few hundred years ago, the world was teeming with life; the waters were clear and pure, the climate entirely predictable and stable – as it had been for millions of years previously – and people and animals shared the land and all its resources in perpetual balance with nature.
Where do we start with the litany of white man’s crimes that has transformed the natural world into a bleak shadow of its previous form? We can point to the destruction of billions of square miles of Brazilian rainforest; we justify this by pointing to a ‘need’ for new pastureland to grow cattle and thus feed our nation’s McAddiction. We can talk about oceanic acidification and the coral bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef off the Austrian coast; we did this presumably because we are uncomfortable with any color that is not white. Or, to add just two more examples, the hunting by white gangs of elephants and rhinos to near-extinction – just because their white tusks are ‘pretty’ – and the near-total removal of once-magnificent glaciers, just so that someone can put a few chunks of ice in their gin & tonic.
As with so much in contemporary life, we would die of despair and self-flagellation were it not for a black glimmer of hope on the polluted horizon. The hope has a name: the Millennial Generation.
Unlike any generation before it, the millennials actually care about the state of the world and its environment. Deeply altruistic, they do NOT believe that profits and endless economic growth are the panacea for all society’s problems. They instinctly know that socialism is fairer and more effective than greedy capitalism. When Jeremy Corbyn, head of the UK’s Labour Party, made recent election pledges to improve the National Health Service, nationalize vast tracts of the economy and generally explore ideas to the left of Marx, UK millennials knew this was the man to heal the UK’s bitter divisions. It didn’t harm his cause either that another of his polices would mean students henceforth receiving free University education and avoiding the burden of debt.
The millennials are therefore open to any ideas that the ignorant older generation would reject as ‘lunacy’ or ‘plain idiotic’. They are willing to listen to bold leaders like Al Gore, Sting and Bono when they tell us that we must stop and then reverse the damage inflicted on the natural world.
One of the most compelling of all the ‘alternative’ ideas out there involves so-called ‘rewilding’ of the planet. At its simplest, rewilding involves re-introducing plants, animals etc. to geographies where they were once native species but now no longer exist.
Let’s take Britain as an example, which until just a couple of hundred years ago had a native population of wolves, bears and even Lynx. Alas, these magnificent animals were all hunted to extinction and no longer grace Britain’s shores. Under rewilding, wolves, bears, lynx etc. would be re-introduced to Britain in a movement we at the Accredited Times call Species Enrichment.
Despite the irrational fear that many ignorant people have about wolves, the truth is that, as natural predators, wolves have an important role to play in ensuring bio-diversity. Wolves keep the deer population at bay, for example, ensuring that plants and trees (which deers eat with gluttony) see the light of day. Since trees play an important role in absorbing CO2 and emitting oxygen, it is no exaggeration to say that wolves are critical to reversing global warming.
One of the most radical biologists advocating mass ‘rewilding’ goes by the name of E O Wilson. According to Wilson, a full half of the world’s land and sea surface should be set aside for wildlife if we are to preserve biodiversity. Yes, some of this land might already be inhabited but people will have to make way.
Here’s how the ‘rewilded’ United States might look:
Whilst we believe Wilson’s proposals are a step in the right direction, we believe they do not go far enough. Firstly, is only 50% of the planet enough for all the other species apart from humans? As just one species out of millions, we believe that the land and sea should be distributed accordingly. This might then restrict humans to a land mass the size of Texas, for example, which should be plenty.
The next issue has to do with how we stop people from hunting animals to extinction, yet again. Re-introduce wolves to Britain, for example, and there is every chance that angry farmers will shoot them ‘because they was eating my lambs they were.’ despite there being no threat of extinction of sheep!
We need to introduce strict laws to prevent the unlawful killing of any animal. We can imagine a world in which all animals were henceforth classified as humans. Killing a wolf, under this model, would be tantamount to murder of another human being, with the real risk of capital punishment to follow.
Rewilding is a radical idea that we need to try now. Let us be bold.