Thursday, January 8, 2015

George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world

***** - Great

In George Monbiot’s Ted Talk For more wonder, rewild the world, he discusses the impacts of reintroducing animals back into their natural habitats and the trophic cascades they cause.

George Monbiot uses the example of wolves being reintroduced into the Yellowstone National Park in 1995 to demonstrate just how connected the species and ecosystems in our world are. The wolves, that had been wiped out due to hunting, were reintroduced to the park in small numbers in 1995, 70 years since their departure, in an attempt to combat the large numbers of elk that were thriving in the park due to the lack of natural predators. The effect that this created was far greater than what had been expected. Not only had the reintroduction of the wolves directly caused the stabilization of the elk population but it had also changed the park itself as well as the species within it. He furthers his point with the case of whales near Japan. Although krill and fish populations were expected to rise with the lack of whales they instead fell, Showing how connected the ecosystems are.

This Ted Talk has shown me that not only is the world at a very different point ecologically than it was when species like these wolves disappeared 70 years ago, but also that there is hope to bring it back to its former glory. It shows that instead of carefully monitoring animals and trying to preserve them by keeping them in captivity, that we can let them roam as they once did and step back and let nature do it’s work, and as George Monbiot says in this talk “Nature by in large is pretty good at deciding”. It shows that by making less of an impact on the world we love to play in we can keep it healthy so that we can continue to do so for generations to come. I would recommend this Ted Talk to anyone who is planning on venturing out of their house into the wonderful world we live in.

Monbiot, George. How Wolves Change Rivers. 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

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