what do you all think about the concept of wilderness?



  1. 0 Votes

    I’m certainly in favor of protecting wilderness areas, and also of reclaiming some places that have been used by humans into wilderness. I don’t think there’s any question that we need to preserve significant areas of the world as places that humans should not have a significant direct impact. Not only is it vital to preserve these areas as a legacy for future generations, but we need wilderness areas to maintain biodiversity and to act as carbon sinks to reduce the effects of global warming. The issue is always, which wilderness, where, and how best can it be protected? I think there is room for human development and use of the environment that can be done responsibly–the use of sustainable forestry practices, for instance, is a tried and true method of preserving our forest resources while also getting beneficial use out of them such as timber. These areas are not, strictly speaking, “wilderness,” because in a managed forest there must be some human impact such as access roads, fire breaks, etc. I believe every country should preserve at least some of its land area as an untouched wilderness. Fortunately there are surprisingly large tracts of land on Earth that are not generally accessed or used by humans, and will probably remain wilderness forever: I’m thinking of places like the wastes of interior Antarctica, the deep forests of Siberia, and the inaccessible desert areas in the Sahara. Where we need to be careful is preserving wilderness in areas where humans will likely be tempted to develop. Responsible building and land use practices and a cultural respect for the environment will go hand-in-hand in preserving these areas, in my view.

  2. 0 Votes

    Hi, Lunafish.  You ask good questions.  I think the concept of wilderness is important in order for us to qualify our place as humans in the universe.  It seems like so much of our advancement has been aimed at making lives easier, more efficient.  You go from your warm apartment to your car or bus or train to your warm work to the comfortable customer-service-passionate places where you run your errands.  And each day we’re reminded that we are totally dependent on the world for all of these niceties, and if individually we were ever put in a place where these things were nonexistent, we would probably die very quickly.  I think we fear that, but in isolating ourselves from it, we put ourselves on an island, not noticing our helplessness — Melville talks about this feeling in Moby Dick as the impotence one feels the first time the Pequod loses sight of land on the horizon heading out to sea.  Our “wilderness”, though, is where we can see that nature works just fine without us.  And probably will work just fine when we’re gone.

  3. 0 Votes

    I think wilderness is something we should value, preserve, and study. Although I don’t think there’s any truly untouched place on Earth (just think of global warming, acid rain, ozone holes, air pollution, and so on), we do have places that aren’t populated which is what I would call wilderness. This is where we can learn about all the diversity of life, complexity of ecosystems, natural biological, geological, and other processes, and most of all – how the Earth would look like without us.

  4. 0 Votes

    I think it’s indescribable and irreplacable.  It’s beyond us and our manufacturing capabilities.  Absolutely fascinating in the ability to cycle naturally (without outside interuption or disruption) and full of incredible potential for healing and joyous living when used in the proper way.  Worth every bit of preservation effort and then some!

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