Efforts to fight climate change are quite often about saying no. Rewilding is different. It is about saying yes.
This deeply optimistic, future-facing work aims to give back to nature some human control over ecosystems. It is about science-guided protection, conservation, restoration, and biodiversity; about letting tamed places go wild and connecting already wild places to each other; about making landscapes healthier and more resilient; and about enlisting nature to help mitigate climate change.
Here are some articles to engage your imagination.
On rewilding your own yard or garden, your pleasure in living, your travel, and your sense of possible futures:
- “One way to do more for the environment: do less with your yard,” Margaret Renkl, NYT.
- “You can rewild your garden into a miniature rainforest,” Jack Marley, Imagine newsletter #4, The Conversation.
- “The Great Rewilding,” a conversation with George Monbiot, Orion. “If we have spaces on our doorsteps in which nature is allowed to do its own thing . . . that, I feel, is a much more exciting and thrilling ecosystem to explore and discover, and it enables us to enrich our lives, to fill them with wonder and enchantment.”
- “Rewilding Experiences Are on the Rise – But Are They Making a Difference?” Chloe Berge, Condé Nast Traveler.
- “Forget environmental doom and gloom – young people draw alternative visions of nature’s future,” Christopher Sandom, The Conversation.
On trying to do it well:
- This interesting (and brand-new) story looks at the key role of large mammals in healthy landscapes and plans underway to restore some of those missing: “Bringing Back the Beasts: Global Rewilding Plans Take Shape,” Janet Marinelli, Yale e360.
- An illustrated tale of one project and some of its complications: “Who will profit from saving Scotland’s bogs?” David Segal, NYT.
- “What’s next for rewilding?” Zoological Society of London, YouTube or podcast. Three interesting academic looks at the topic, including matters of policy, natural capital, ecosystem services, the role of megafauna, management challenges, the place of people in wild lands, and more.
- “The benefits and risks of rewilding,” IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Some basic principles.
On a really wild idea:
- “Are Woolly Mammoths a Solution to the Hairy Problem of Climate Change?” Jonathan Shipley, Discover.
- “Bringing woolly mammoths back from extinction might not be such a bad idea – ethicists explain,” Julian Koplin, The Conversation.
- The Global Rewilding Alliance has an interactive map of many projects around the globe.
- The Guardian’s dozens of articles on this topic are collected here. Most are about the UK, but a good many look at projects in other countries.
This series is curated and written by retired Colorado State University English professor and close climate change watcher SueEllen Campbell of Colorado. To flag works you think warrant attention, send an e-mail to her any time. Let us hear from you.