It seems places like Africa and Australia hold special places in our hearts. Movies like, well, Australia, and the documentary Blue Planet are extremely popular. So much so they redid Blue Planet with an American narrator to show on the Discovery Channel. Without Richard Attenborough’s soothing British accent, it’s not the same, but that’s a rant for a different day. (I mean, Sigourney Weaver? Really? Was Meryl Streep too busy? I don’t want the woman who beats the hell out of Aliens to narrate one of the most moving documentaries I’ve ever seen!)
We romanticize these places because they represent a link to our past. A time when there were vast, untouched wildernesses. Deep down, humans long to be back among the rest of nature. Africa, Australia, the Amazon, these are the few remaining stretches of huge wilderness that we haven’t plundered, yet.
I’m sure, given human greed, there is the possibility that we could. But, while we are nature, and a part of nature, there is one area in which we are separate from nature. We have the ability to limit our consumption. Unlike other species, we can recognize when we are destroying the very thing that keeps us alive, and make the necessary changes.
Some of those changes that are being made is a return to vast stretches of wilderness. Places where there will be the full gambit of species, from mice to top predators. Corridors of land in which animals and human animals can co-exists. But Drew, you say, how can I live in a place where cougars roam? I don’t want my children living in fear of playing outside. Well, sorry. Nature isn’t the safe, sterile place that zoos and the Animal Kingdom make it out to be.
Living with top predators is better than the alternative, living with their extinction. God willing the idea of “cores, corridors, and carnivores” will grow. If not , and nature shrinks, so does our chances for passing on a livable planet to the next generation.