Monday, April 18, 2016

Ghost World - Part II: Revival

In my last post, I described how the modern-day world is a global version of a ghost town: the extinction of dozens of species of large animals at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch left ecosystems incomplete and unbalanced. Without mammoths, ground sloths, and the rest, some plants and animals have thrived, others have suffered or disappeared altogether, and even natural processes like fire and climate have been affected. The natural world is incomplete without them, and continues to degrade like an abandoned village.

Of course, the key to “fixing” a ghost town is quite simple: bring people back. They don’t even have to be the same people. Just about anyone can tend the overgrown gardens, drive the disused cars, and shoo away the rats and roaches. The same may be true of our ecosystems, which brings me to an ambitious – and controversial – conservation idea:

Pleistocene Rewilding.