I’m working on a new book about wildlife. It’s a book designed to bring hope.
At the end of The Synthetic Age, I told a story about someone killed by a bear in Yellowstone National Park. The reason to tell this rather grim tale was to emphasize that even the potent technologies described in The Synthetic Age were destined to fall short. The world could still startle us. It could still exceed the best laid plans.
The book I’m working on now takes this basic thought much further. Wildlife are hardwired to resist humanity’s designs. They bring surprises. Here I catalogue several species of animals recovering beyond all expectations. Wolves in Europe, bison on America’s Great Plains, humpback whales in the Pacific and North Atlantic are all experiencing a resurgence. I dig into stories about wildlife that are flourishing despite the continuing waves of bad news.
The return of wildlife is biologically interesting and culturally fascinating. It makes demands of people accustomed to living without these animals, both their supporters and their detractors. These demands involve changes of perspective and shifts in values. Returning animals will change us. And not just in the ways you think.
Image by Garrett Lau via Flickr