Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life[Download] ✤ Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life By George Monbiot – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk This book explodes with wonder and delight Making use of remarkable scientific discoveries that transform our understanding of how natural systems work, George Monbiot explores a new, positive environ This the Land, the Sea PDF/EPUB or book explodes the Land, Epub à with wonder and delight Making use of remarkable scientific discoveries that transform our understanding of how natural systems work, George Monbiot explores a new, positive environmentalism that shows how damaged ecosystems on land and at sea can be restored, and how this restoration can revitalize and enrich our lives Challenging what he calls his ecological boredom, Monbiot weaves together a beautiful and riveting tale of wild places, wildlife, and wild people Roaming Feral: Rewilding Kindle - the hills of Britain and the forests of Europe, kayaking off the coast of Wales with dolphins and seabirds, he seeks out the places that still possess something of the untamed spirit he would like to resurrectHe meets people trying to restore lost forests and bring back missing species such as wolves, lynx, wolverines, wild boar, and gray whales and explores astonishing evidence that certain species, not just humans, have the power to shape the physical Rewilding the Land, PDF/EPUB Â landscape This process of rewilding, Monbiot argues, offers an alternative to a silent spring the chance of a raucous summer in which ecological processes resume and humans draw closer to the natural world. I read Monbiot s book Heat, in which he sets out a plan of how the UK could and should repond to human made climate change by cutting carbon emissions by 90%, in 2010 I was convinced, but not optimistic the changes we need to make are radical the restructuring in transport for example, would be deep, and despite the strength of the argument against doing so even I have failed to stop flying I have restricted myself somewhat, but totally failed to persuade anyone else , which has become so in I read Monbiot s book Heat, in which he sets out a plan of how the UK could and should repond to human made climate change by cutting carbon emissions by 90%, in 2010 I was convinced, but not optimistic the changes we need to make are radical the restructuring in transport for example, would be deep, and despite the strength of the argument against doing so even I have failed to stop flying I have restricted myself somewhat, but totally failed to persuade anyone else , which has become so integral to working life and family together time as we spread ourselves across the globe So when I took up Feral I wasn t expecting to find a carnival of hope and joy There is no single narrative here Monbiot alternates and weaves together anecdotes of his fishing expeditions, intense, dramatic and dense with description and encounters with wildlife and rural places, with discussions of progressive biodiversity loss and habitat destruction caused throughout our history by gratuitous hunting, agricultural practices and often bizarre regulation He describes how ecosystems are kept healthy by large predators, and explores the potential for reintroducing animals such as lynx and even wolves to the UK, as well as less controversial animals like the beaver, a herbivore whose dam building habits create opportunities for a variety of fish and all sorts of other fauna and flora to thrive Some readers might wish Monbiot would cut to the chase but it s obviously important to him to share the sense of enchantment and revitalisation that has informed his conception of rewilding.This rewilding is not a monolithic concept it is being constructed differently by varied groups of advocates Monbiot freely admits that, while he can make an impressive economic case, his real motivation is the yearning for reconnection and encounters with exciting ecosystems He points out that sheep farming has left large areas of the UK biodiversity deserts, which without our intervention, would surprisingly be covered in rainforest, as diverse as the Brazilian Mata Atlantica of which it was once a part He argues against the conservation prison the preservation of ecosystems that are actually severely depleted, having been created by historic farming practices and industrial processes Do we really want our environment to be a museum Monbiot wants to see areas of self willed land.The effects of stepping back and letting nature recover are inspiring Simply fencing out sheep for twenty years produces a startlingly rich and varied patch of woodland where previously nothing lived but grass In the ocean, where the biodiversity disaster has been evendramatic than on land due to destructive fishing practices and the misguided removal of predators, it is even easier to restore biodiversity and ecosystem health simply by creating marine reserves This is one example among many in the book of the need for nothing but political will to bring about a hugely beneficial to the fishing industry and seafood lovers as much as to wildlife change at no or minimal cost and with no investment in technology or R D In the case of agricultural practice, one solution Monbiot advocates is the removal of a rule that forces farmers to work or graze land they would otherwise leave fallow One of thedifficult problems is the vice like grip of extremely wealthy landowners, often living overseas, who wield extremely disproportionate influence in government.Monbiot is not na ve about the problems with rewilding areas of land This is NOT a call for a return to ANY earlier stage of civilisation, to stop cultivation or reduce human populations He balances his argument with chapters about his discussions with sheep farmers, and a cautionary discussion of the harrowing history of Nazi rewilding projects that Simon Schama wrote about in Landscape and Memory Monbiot also notes indefensible colonial conservation projects, such as in Kenya, where imperial rulers have appropriated land from local people such as the Maasai, leaving them without homes or property, to create reserves.On the other side of the argument is another example of colonial thinking asking people in African and Asian countries to conserve dangerous animals such as big cats and rhinos sits ill with our unwillingness to tolerate predators on our own shores The reintroduction of the wolf to Yellowstone in the USA is an incredible success story, and its slow reappearance in continental Europe is having similar effects, with many benefits to people.Rewilding, Monbiot stresses, must be a democratic process, fully negotiated with all the stakeholders involved, but it has huge potential to enrich our land, seas and lives Read and feel good Update One issue in this book that has become especially topical is reasons why we now have farflooding in the UK Vegetation dramatically slows down run off into rivers and regulates transpiration, as well as preventing soil erosion At one time government agencies removed fallen trees and so on from water courses to speed up the flow, and many wetlands have been drained to make way forcrops, inevitably speeding up the channels water flows in How to prevent flooding SLOW DOWN the movement of water This also helps biodiversity This is the most disappointing book I have read in the last few years It s all thedisappointing because it sets up one s hope high Feral, Rewilding the land, the sea, and human life such fascinating and pressing subjects, it s hard to imagine how can one can wrong And Monbiot does, grossly Recently I compared a somewhat discursive and repetitious production by E O Wilson to brilliant tooth pickings of a great mind in contrast, FERAL is sensationalized tooth pickings of egocentris This is the most disappointing book I have read in the last few years It s all thedisappointing because it sets up one s hope high Feral, Rewilding the land, the sea, and human life such fascinating and pressing subjects, it s hard to imagine how can one can wrong And Monbiot does, grossly Recently I compared a somewhat discursive and repetitious production by E O Wilson to brilliant tooth pickings of a great mind in contrast, FERAL is sensationalized tooth pickings of egocentrism The preface, with its in page reference lists, is the most satisfying and informative part of the book Otherwise, in a book that is supposed to talk about the earth, biosphere, the environment, all we see is GEORGE in exotic settings doing wild things dished out pulp fiction style GEORGE in the grittiest corner on earth among the most unseemly characters, GEORGE eating foetally curled beetle grubs with the locals, GEORGE hunting and murdering fish in the wild, GEORGE is having THAT feeling again, and again insert new GEORGE adventures here.In a world where survival is the very issue at risk grave risk, to put it mildly for both the human species and numerous others, GEORGE s central concern is what he self identifies as Ecological Boredom in the suburban security he finds himself, his justly manly longings for Adventure Aggression Violence can not be fully satisfied a priceless gem, in my opinion, in the anthropocentric department, which is exactly what brought us where we are today GEORGE wants to take up the spear, and play the Paleo Man Aggression Given where we are today already, I say keep this GEORGE out of the jungle, out of any civilization if possible, and safely in his dangerous and exciting caveman dreams This is a book that many people ought to read I read most of it before I went to the USA and then read all of it, some of it several times, on my return I was reading it again at 6am yesterday morning in the back garden of the Old Mill Hotel in Salisbury where a kingfisher, a juvenile robin and a loud wren distracted me.I agree with the thrust of this book which I believe is that we needwild nature in our lives and that we ought to put it there through rewilding some of the world aro This is a book that many people ought to read I read most of it before I went to the USA and then read all of it, some of it several times, on my return I was reading it again at 6am yesterday morning in the back garden of the Old Mill Hotel in Salisbury where a kingfisher, a juvenile robin and a loud wren distracted me.I agree with the thrust of this book which I believe is that we needwild nature in our lives and that we ought to put it there through rewilding some of the world around us That s a good message and is almost becoming nature conservation orthodoxy in the UK Some of the questions that remain are how much how where and how quickly What is this thing rewilding It s restoring ecosystems that are largely unperturbed by our own species, including restoring some large and locally extinct species such as wolves and white tailed eagle.Monbiot suggests that we are all missing the wilder life and discusses people s keenness to see large black cats running around the British countryside We needforest,wolves,beavers, fewer sheep, less fishing of the seas and we need the policy makers either to stand aside or to adopt this as a basis for public funding of land managers, but we shouldn t oppress the landowners if they don t fancy the prospect of change.There are some lovely bits of classic Monbiot He has a go at farming unions for talking rubbish and the CAP for being rubbish Monbiot writes, the CAP stings every household in the UK for 245 a year That is equivalent to five weeks of food for the average household, or slightly less than it lays down in the form of savings and investments every year 296 Using our money to subsidise private business is a questionable policy at any time When important public services are being cut for want of cash , it is even harder to justify When Monbiot from the left of politics, and Roger Scruton from what looks like the right to me in Green Philosophy , both criticise the CAP on similar grounds there seems no place for the discredited implementation of a European ideal to hide.This book has quite a lot of how Monbiot feels about nature, what he enjoys doing in Wales, and anecdotes and instructive stories from his past in a variety of locations outside of Europe These didn t help me very much in following the argument nor did they work that well in keeping me interested they may work brilliantly for you, of course, as those things are very personal in nature.It s not obvious, to me, whether Monbiot thinks that this re wilding idea is the way to do nature conservation or a way to do nature conservation If the former then he is wrong, if the latter then he is right Many species, including declining species, rely on farmed landscapes for their existence and we shouldn t abandon them and their needs for example while we wait for an overgrazed hillside to grow into an ancient woodland.Monbiot is not over generous in referencing the steps that many conservation organisations, and indeed individual landowners, are doing in the fields of species reintroduction, habitat restoration and habitat re creation there is quite a lot going on, it s difficult work and it s very expensive too But if his book brings the message of how much nature we have lost to manypeople, and persuades them that we might be better off mentally, physically and even financially, if we brought backwild nature then it will have done everyone a service.Monbiot largely leaves it to others to work out how to get from the mess we are in now to his rather unspecified better world That s fine, but it does need doing.Really wild places will have to be really big to be really useful There is no point, or not much at any rate, doing a bit of tinkering I d love to see us re flood The Fens, or some of them anyway, and bring back a living wetland that would store carbon, produce fish and other food and act as a wetland National Park for East Anglia I would love to see much of Salisbury Plain return to chalk grassland and low intensity arable farming with masses of butterflies and chalk grassland flowers and great bustards of course With good rail and road links from London this could become a weekend destination for re wilding addicts fleeing the big city Let s see large parts of upland Wales return to deciduous woodland with bison in the woods and bison burgers in the pubs.I m up for all of these, certainly after a drink or two, but in the cold light of day you can see that there might be a few sugar beet and carrot farmers in Cambridgeshire who are a bit less enthusiastic about the first some arable farmers un keen on the second and the odd Welsh sheep farmer who is concerned about the last one And that s a large part of the reason why they haven t happened yet not because nobody thought of them but because we were all too scared to push them as hard as they need to be pushed and for as long as they need to be pushed Maybe Monbiot s book will stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood and we can go back into the breach again.Any book that the President of the National Farmers Union hates must have something going for it and this book really does have a lot going for it It didn t, it seems, open Peter Kendall s mind to future prospects of exciting wild lands but your mind might swing openeasily Read it it should enthuse you about the possibilities of the future, but it certainly isn t a road map for getting there Feral searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding by George Monbiot is available onas is Mark Avery s book Fighting for Birds.This review first appeared on Mark Avery s website www.markavery.info This book is about rewilding The concept of rewilding is vague and has different meanings depending on who you talk to George Monbiot does a wonderful job of both explaining what rewilding is to him, and all many other shades of definition that exist.I was entranced by the visions of epic forests filled with lynx, wolves, and other wild animals As a child I would escape into woods wherever I could find them and pretend that these animals might exist now that I know they could, if enough peop This book is about rewilding The concept of rewilding is vague and has different meanings depending on who you talk to George Monbiot does a wonderful job of both explaining what rewilding is to him, and all many other shades of definition that exist.I was entranced by the visions of epic forests filled with lynx, wolves, and other wild animals As a child I would escape into woods wherever I could find them and pretend that these animals might exist now that I know they could, if enough people shared the same vision, I have a tiny burst of hope that the wild might come back to our sculpted, sheepwrecked land Monbiot makes an important point on this topic of consent Nevertheless, like all visions, rewilding must be constantly questioned and challenged It should happen only with the consent and enthusiasm of those who work on the land It must never be used as an instrument of expropriation or dispossession He does then continue on to say that Rewilding, paradoxically, should take place for the benefit of people, to enhance the world in which we live, and not for the sake of an abstraction we call Nature In each chapter, Monbiot depicts a different voyage, walk, exploration of the natural world His writing style is lyrical and does a wonderful job of expressing how he feels about what he sees For example, in his chapter named Sheepwrecked , the landscape is described as being in a state of destruction, and you can see how he is almost heartbroken by that No matter what side you believe you stand on when it comes to rewilding, this book is definitely something you should read There is so much information from studies and interviews, carefully conveyed, that without that knowledge I don t think either side can begin to discuss the topic with clarity Having said that, I don t think many people are on one side or the other as always, most of us are somewhere in between Even Monbiot has his moments as in the chapter entitled Hushings of doubt, or at least he is forced to thinkabout those who would be negatively affected by huge amounts of rewilding.This is an incredible book Dreams of truly wild flora and fauna thriving on landscape that was once in a state of destruction will stay with me forever I found this book wholly delightful It contains a mixture of adventures Monbiot has had in the wilder parts of the world and well reasoned arguments for allowingof the world to be wild The most powerful concept he uses is shifting baseline syndrome , the idea that we consider the countryside of our childhood to be the natural state of things This is a useful reminder that notions of wilderness are culturally and socially mediated I wasn t especially surprised to learn that the UK is I found this book wholly delightful It contains a mixture of adventures Monbiot has had in the wilder parts of the world and well reasoned arguments for allowingof the world to be wild The most powerful concept he uses is shifting baseline syndrome , the idea that we consider the countryside of our childhood to be the natural state of things This is a useful reminder that notions of wilderness are culturally and socially mediated I wasn t especially surprised to learn that the UK is especially resistant to rewilding and strangely convinced that fields of sheep occur naturally I wonder if this attachment to a specific vision of the past and general fear of visual change links also to the bizarrely fervent resistance to wind turbines The incredible, near feudal concentration of land ownership in the UK clearly also has a major impact here, as Monbiot notes.Perhaps I was predisposed to embrace the idea of rewilding, but I m gleeful at the prospect of wolves, boar, lynx, elk, and even elephants reinhabiting the UK I grew up in rural East Anglia, in a landscape wholly dominated by monocultures of oilseed rape Here and there pockets of habitat survived, in churchyards, around rivers, in hedgerows, and the odd meadow Woods, however, were basically non existent Monbiot s accounts of exploring beautiful regenerating forests made me want to live in Scotland, where the air is clean enough for trees to be draped with lichens and moss Given the sheer scale of human destruction chronicled in the book, it is impressive how positive the overall message is I suppose the massive amount of energy and effort expended to alter and degrade ecosystems implies a certain symmetry stop expending that energy and ecosystems will quite quickly reconfigure themselves Restricting climate change to asides also adds to this cheerful message Rewilding isclosely linked to climate change adaptation than mitigation, asdiverse habitats tend to beresilient Regarding mitigation, it can only be hoped that greater personal identification with the wild environment would change social priorities away from overconsumption Rewilding is, after all, subversive Although its economic side benefits are discussed, ultimately it involves prioritising economic inactivity over profit seeking use of land Indeed, I doubt that the discipline of mainstream economics would ever comprehend rewilding Monbiot himself stresses that the main benefit is the sheer wonder and enjoyment of wild places Current social s value what can be priced over such intangible concepts, so it is refreshing to find this challenged I was also amused to find a mention of how authenticity is a difficult and unhelpful concept, something I tied myself in knots about while reading Alone Together Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Perhaps my favourite element of the book, though, was the excited descriptions of extinct megafauna It saddens me that, barring some great advance in cloning techniques, I ll never see a giant ground sloth I am deducting one star as the book could have a clearer structure The academic side of me likes to see an argument set out systematically, although that clearly wasn t the style intended here Nonetheless, reading this book made me happier and enthusiastic about the prospects of rewilding The landscape of the UK has been tamed by man and domestic animal for millennia, so much so that vast parts of it are almost monocultures now This legacy is one of the human desire to control and dominate their environment, and biodiversity has suffered as a result In this book Monbiot is advocating us to re engage with nature and considers bold and daring options to re wild the countryside Possibly the bravest of his suggestions is to reintroduce wolves First hearing this, most people will The landscape of the UK has been tamed by man and domestic animal for millennia, so much so that vast parts of it are almost monocultures now This legacy is one of the human desire to control and dominate their environment, and biodiversity has suffered as a result In this book Monbiot is advocating us to re engage with nature and considers bold and daring options to re wild the countryside Possibly the bravest of his suggestions is to reintroduce wolves First hearing this, most people will raise their hands in horror because of the danger, but as has been proven in America, and other parts of Europe, the reintroduction of a top level predator can shake the natural environment completely For example, having wolves back in Scotland will mean that the deer population can be controlled naturally, less deer will mean that the vegetation can grow and recover, and all these have a massive effect on the animals and plants up and down the food chain The planned and accidental introduction of beavers seems to have worked, with the changes that they make to the river systems hopefully will have a knock on effect by reducing flooding.He isn t a huge fan of sheep either These simple, harmless animals cause massive devastation to the landscape, almost to the point where there islife in a desert that on the Welsh uplands Areas that have had sheep excluded, within a handful of years will have a rich variety of flora and fauna The same principle applies to oceans the modern way of trawling with dragnets wreaks utter devastation to the ocean floor Simply banning that type of fishing in certain areas, and limiting activity in the margin of the zone will have a similar effect fairly soon too.But as ever change is never straightforward.Monbiot is normally a political writer, and as you d expect there is a political element to this book He considers the effects that the common agricultural policy has on our landscape, in particular that very little land can be left to go wild and must always be managed to be able to claim subsidies There is a part on the failed re wilding undertaken by the Germans, and also the evidence that our present native trees had evolved to cope with the mega fauna such as elephants and rhino that used to live here.There is at the moment precious political will to change things, coupled with powerful and frequently absent landowners with little desire for change, things are not going to happen soon For change as bold as this there needs to be full commitment from all stakeholders and parties involved, and I for one would like to see the reintroduction of the top level predators and the return of proper wilderness to parts of Britain.It is a well written and passionate plea for the necessary revolution that is needed in our natural world Well worth reading I think I didn t like it mainly because of the expectations I had I thought the focus was going to be philosophical Instead, what I got was the random adventures of a glorified boy scout The final straw for me was the smug tone he adopts when he talks about cryptozoologists Really annoying He just sounds like a spoilt brat So, after 50 odd pages I gave up If you can t grab my attention in 50 pages, you probably won t be able to do it later. I really was not impressed with this book at first I wanted a book on rewilding, and from the first page this seemed to be a record of Monbiot s mysterious adventures, boosted by delusions of grandeur I suppose he wanted to set the tone and establish that this wasn t a dry, factual tome but for me it just came off as pompous and distracting from the central point As the book went on, however, it grew on me I started to accept the book for what it really is a sort of memoir of a British env I really was not impressed with this book at first I wanted a book on rewilding, and from the first page this seemed to be a record of Monbiot s mysterious adventures, boosted by delusions of grandeur I suppose he wanted to set the tone and establish that this wasn t a dry, factual tome but for me it just came off as pompous and distracting from the central point As the book went on, however, it grew on me I started to accept the book for what it really is a sort of memoir of a British environmentalist, dissatisfied with the lack of biodiversity that surrounds him It was just structured around the concept of rewilding in this highly modified island, an island full of landscapes shaped by people and culture As the book progressed, he still wove in some stories in which he featured as an intrepid traveler performing brave feats, but I warmed to them somewhat because the rest of the text was so damn good I especially loved the chapters on Wales,which is one of my favourite places, and I really had not realised the full extent of modification in the uplands I found the chapters on reintroductions e.g wolves, lynx and marine conservation both captivating and compelling, and the information about reforesting the Scottish highlands was inspiring This book is indeed sentimental, but it is also built on a solid foundation of knowledge from Monbiot, the literature, and experts The chapter on how not to rewild at first threw me for a loop, as he invoked Godwin s law fairly early on, but by the end I realised what he was doing As a new migrant to the UK who seriously misses proper nature, this book gave me so much fodder for my imagination The world I constructed from the information in this book is a Britain I would love to see Unfortunately, aside from a few minor policy changes like re introducing a few animals and perhaps protecting a bitof the sea I can t fathom any of Monbiot s vision coming true The environment is not even part of the national dialogue here Still, I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the notions in this book, and I would be happy if I was proven wrong and we really did rewild Britain I heard the author on NPR so I had to read the book The book is somewhat disjointed It s got passion but too much info But still read it It s very informative You learn about trophic cascades and shifting balance syndrome among other things Monbiot is a revolutionary, an iconoclast, a pragmatist, and someone who should be in charge of making things happen If you think the US is messed up in terms of its conservation you should look at the UK which Monbiot mercilessly grills over its inane I heard the author on NPR so I had to read the book The book is somewhat disjointed It s got passion but too much info But still read it It s very informative You learn about trophic cascades and shifting balance syndrome among other things Monbiot is a revolutionary, an iconoclast, a pragmatist, and someone who should be in charge of making things happen If you think the US is messed up in terms of its conservation you should look at the UK which Monbiot mercilessly grills over its inane policies which do everything to achieve the reverse of what s needed Although this book is pretty UK centric it s discouraging to see what constitutes management and conservation policy Monbiot points out that much of what we call the natural world is not so but a manmade construct that s relative to our point of view or time In the UK an obscenely small percent of the population own 69% of the land The landed gentry work against the land with their focus on hunting The farmer s lobby with the focus on neatness and removing woods, marshes as well as the pre eminence of sheep which destroy the land does nothing but make the land worse for wear Monbiot likens some areas of Wales to a desert no trees and the omnipresent sheep eating everything so there s no roots or grass And they wonder why there are so many floods in the UK now according to Monbiot Just a very interesting rant on the arrogance of man and how even his best attempt at management screws everything up Leave Mother Nature alone and let her be and we ll all be better off is Monbiot s message From the June 1 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press Books Section Rabble rousing U.K journalist George Monbiot doesn t much like sheep.In his eighth book, Feral, he minces no words about the effect the ruminants have on the British landscape Sheep farming in this country is a slow burning ecological disaster, which has donedamage to the living systems of this country than either climate change or industrial pollution Monbiot worked as an investigative journalist in Brazil, Indonesia an From the June 1 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press Books Section Rabble rousing U.K journalist George Monbiot doesn t much like sheep.In his eighth book, Feral, he minces no words about the effect the ruminants have on the British landscape Sheep farming in this country is a slow burning ecological disaster, which has donedamage to the living systems of this country than either climate change or industrial pollution Monbiot worked as an investigative journalist in Brazil, Indonesia and East Africa for six years He s been a columnist for The Guardian for nearly two decades, writing on multinational corporations 2000 s The Captive State , democratic reform 2003 s The Age of Consent and climate change 2006 s Heat.But it was a move to the Welsh countryside with his young family in 2007 that forced Monbiot to focus on his immediate surroundings the heaths and moors of the Cambrian Mountains.Even though his Guardian column demanded that he range across disciplines from science to economics to politics Monbiot realized he felt disengaged from his body and his environment He was, as he called it, ecologically bored After a little digging, Monbiot realized that the Welsh landscape was not especially natural As little as 1,300 years ago, according to the fossil record, most of the U.K was covered in forest Man cut down the trees and then filled the empty spaces with sheep, who browse anything green down to the ground Heather, which many nature lovers in Britain cherish, is typical of the hardy, shrubby plants which colonize deforested land, writes Monbiot I do not see heather moor as an indicator of the health of the upland environment, as many do, but as a product of ecological destruction What follows is an argument for the rewilding of the British uplands so as to reverse some of the environmental damage they ve sustained and re invigorate the people who live there.Rewilding, according to Monbiot, involves reintroducing absent plants and animals and in a few cases culling exotic species which cannot be contained by native wildlife , pulling down the fences, blocking the drainage ditches, but otherwise stepping back Monbiot advocates rewilding only in areas in which production is so low that farming continues only as a result of the taxpayer s generosity Readers may be wondering how Monbiot s ideas apply to the North American landscape While we don t have sheep, we do have cattle ranches and a high density of deer in both rural and urban areas And scientists and conservation officers across the country are currently asking some of the same questions Monbiot does on the value of maintaining and in some cases reintroducing keystone species such as beavers and wolves.Unfortunately, Monbiot sandwiches his largely compelling arguments between chapters that detail his goal to live a life richer in adventure and surprise In Monbiot s case that mostly seems to mean the times he nearly kills himself with his sea kayak In addition, while Monbiot was likely motivated by beginning a family to write Feral, there is no denying that the risk taking he describes is gendered It is predicated on the fact that there is someone at home with the children who is not trying to kill herself with a sea kayak.Combine those interludes with Monbiot s nostalgic recollections of his adventures in East Africa and Brazil and, well, you ve got a very manly book.Part of the posturing is probably due to the fact that Monbiot is a radical thinker and not a lowly scientist or an academic These stories are meant, at least in part, to establish Monbiot s bona fides.They re also likely an attempt to inject some colour into a book where he mostly wanders through the woods, muttering bleakly about sheep

Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life PDF
    EPUB is an ebook file format that uses the epub and wild people Roaming Feral: Rewilding Kindle - the hills of Britain and the forests of Europe, kayaking off the coast of Wales with dolphins and seabirds, he seeks out the places that still possess something of the untamed spirit he would like to resurrectHe meets people trying to restore lost forests and bring back missing species such as wolves, lynx, wolverines, wild boar, and gray whales and explores astonishing evidence that certain species, not just humans, have the power to shape the physical Rewilding the Land, PDF/EPUB Â landscape This process of rewilding, Monbiot argues, offers an alternative to a silent spring the chance of a raucous summer in which ecological processes resume and humans draw closer to the natural world. I read Monbiot s book Heat, in which he sets out a plan of how the UK could and should repond to human made climate change by cutting carbon emissions by 90%, in 2010 I was convinced, but not optimistic the changes we need to make are radical the restructuring in transport for example, would be deep, and despite the strength of the argument against doing so even I have failed to stop flying I have restricted myself somewhat, but totally failed to persuade anyone else , which has become so in I read Monbiot s book Heat, in which he sets out a plan of how the UK could and should repond to human made climate change by cutting carbon emissions by 90%, in 2010 I was convinced, but not optimistic the changes we need to make are radical the restructuring in transport for example, would be deep, and despite the strength of the argument against doing so even I have failed to stop flying I have restricted myself somewhat, but totally failed to persuade anyone else , which has become so integral to working life and family together time as we spread ourselves across the globe So when I took up Feral I wasn t expecting to find a carnival of hope and joy There is no single narrative here Monbiot alternates and weaves together anecdotes of his fishing expeditions, intense, dramatic and dense with description and encounters with wildlife and rural places, with discussions of progressive biodiversity loss and habitat destruction caused throughout our history by gratuitous hunting, agricultural practices and often bizarre regulation He describes how ecosystems are kept healthy by large predators, and explores the potential for reintroducing animals such as lynx and even wolves to the UK, as well as less controversial animals like the beaver, a herbivore whose dam building habits create opportunities for a variety of fish and all sorts of other fauna and flora to thrive Some readers might wish Monbiot would cut to the chase but it s obviously important to him to share the sense of enchantment and revitalisation that has informed his conception of rewilding.This rewilding is not a monolithic concept it is being constructed differently by varied groups of advocates Monbiot freely admits that, while he can make an impressive economic case, his real motivation is the yearning for reconnection and encounters with exciting ecosystems He points out that sheep farming has left large areas of the UK biodiversity deserts, which without our intervention, would surprisingly be covered in rainforest, as diverse as the Brazilian Mata Atlantica of which it was once a part He argues against the conservation prison the preservation of ecosystems that are actually severely depleted, having been created by historic farming practices and industrial processes Do we really want our environment to be a museum Monbiot wants to see areas of self willed land.The effects of stepping back and letting nature recover are inspiring Simply fencing out sheep for twenty years produces a startlingly rich and varied patch of woodland where previously nothing lived but grass In the ocean, where the biodiversity disaster has been evendramatic than on land due to destructive fishing practices and the misguided removal of predators, it is even easier to restore biodiversity and ecosystem health simply by creating marine reserves This is one example among many in the book of the need for nothing but political will to bring about a hugely beneficial to the fishing industry and seafood lovers as much as to wildlife change at no or minimal cost and with no investment in technology or R D In the case of agricultural practice, one solution Monbiot advocates is the removal of a rule that forces farmers to work or graze land they would otherwise leave fallow One of thedifficult problems is the vice like grip of extremely wealthy landowners, often living overseas, who wield extremely disproportionate influence in government.Monbiot is not na ve about the problems with rewilding areas of land This is NOT a call for a return to ANY earlier stage of civilisation, to stop cultivation or reduce human populations He balances his argument with chapters about his discussions with sheep farmers, and a cautionary discussion of the harrowing history of Nazi rewilding projects that Simon Schama wrote about in Landscape and Memory Monbiot also notes indefensible colonial conservation projects, such as in Kenya, where imperial rulers have appropriated land from local people such as the Maasai, leaving them without homes or property, to create reserves.On the other side of the argument is another example of colonial thinking asking people in African and Asian countries to conserve dangerous animals such as big cats and rhinos sits ill with our unwillingness to tolerate predators on our own shores The reintroduction of the wolf to Yellowstone in the USA is an incredible success story, and its slow reappearance in continental Europe is having similar effects, with many benefits to people.Rewilding, Monbiot stresses, must be a democratic process, fully negotiated with all the stakeholders involved, but it has huge potential to enrich our land, seas and lives Read and feel good Update One issue in this book that has become especially topical is reasons why we now have farflooding in the UK Vegetation dramatically slows down run off into rivers and regulates transpiration, as well as preventing soil erosion At one time government agencies removed fallen trees and so on from water courses to speed up the flow, and many wetlands have been drained to make way forcrops, inevitably speeding up the channels water flows in How to prevent flooding SLOW DOWN the movement of water This also helps biodiversity This is the most disappointing book I have read in the last few years It s all thedisappointing because it sets up one s hope high Feral, Rewilding the land, the sea, and human life such fascinating and pressing subjects, it s hard to imagine how can one can wrong And Monbiot does, grossly Recently I compared a somewhat discursive and repetitious production by E O Wilson to brilliant tooth pickings of a great mind in contrast, FERAL is sensationalized tooth pickings of egocentris This is the most disappointing book I have read in the last few years It s all thedisappointing because it sets up one s hope high Feral, Rewilding the land, the sea, and human life such fascinating and pressing subjects, it s hard to imagine how can one can wrong And Monbiot does, grossly Recently I compared a somewhat discursive and repetitious production by E O Wilson to brilliant tooth pickings of a great mind in contrast, FERAL is sensationalized tooth pickings of egocentrism The preface, with its in page reference lists, is the most satisfying and informative part of the book Otherwise, in a book that is supposed to talk about the earth, biosphere, the environment, all we see is GEORGE in exotic settings doing wild things dished out pulp fiction style GEORGE in the grittiest corner on earth among the most unseemly characters, GEORGE eating foetally curled beetle grubs with the locals, GEORGE hunting and murdering fish in the wild, GEORGE is having THAT feeling again, and again insert new GEORGE adventures here.In a world where survival is the very issue at risk grave risk, to put it mildly for both the human species and numerous others, GEORGE s central concern is what he self identifies as Ecological Boredom in the suburban security he finds himself, his justly manly longings for Adventure Aggression Violence can not be fully satisfied a priceless gem, in my opinion, in the anthropocentric department, which is exactly what brought us where we are today GEORGE wants to take up the spear, and play the Paleo Man Aggression Given where we are today already, I say keep this GEORGE out of the jungle, out of any civilization if possible, and safely in his dangerous and exciting caveman dreams This is a book that many people ought to read I read most of it before I went to the USA and then read all of it, some of it several times, on my return I was reading it again at 6am yesterday morning in the back garden of the Old Mill Hotel in Salisbury where a kingfisher, a juvenile robin and a loud wren distracted me.I agree with the thrust of this book which I believe is that we needwild nature in our lives and that we ought to put it there through rewilding some of the world aro This is a book that many people ought to read I read most of it before I went to the USA and then read all of it, some of it several times, on my return I was reading it again at 6am yesterday morning in the back garden of the Old Mill Hotel in Salisbury where a kingfisher, a juvenile robin and a loud wren distracted me.I agree with the thrust of this book which I believe is that we needwild nature in our lives and that we ought to put it there through rewilding some of the world around us That s a good message and is almost becoming nature conservation orthodoxy in the UK Some of the questions that remain are how much how where and how quickly What is this thing rewilding It s restoring ecosystems that are largely unperturbed by our own species, including restoring some large and locally extinct species such as wolves and white tailed eagle.Monbiot suggests that we are all missing the wilder life and discusses people s keenness to see large black cats running around the British countryside We needforest,wolves,beavers, fewer sheep, less fishing of the seas and we need the policy makers either to stand aside or to adopt this as a basis for public funding of land managers, but we shouldn t oppress the landowners if they don t fancy the prospect of change.There are some lovely bits of classic Monbiot He has a go at farming unions for talking rubbish and the CAP for being rubbish Monbiot writes, the CAP stings every household in the UK for 245 a year That is equivalent to five weeks of food for the average household, or slightly less than it lays down in the form of savings and investments every year 296 Using our money to subsidise private business is a questionable policy at any time When important public services are being cut for want of cash , it is even harder to justify When Monbiot from the left of politics, and Roger Scruton from what looks like the right to me in Green Philosophy , both criticise the CAP on similar grounds there seems no place for the discredited implementation of a European ideal to hide.This book has quite a lot of how Monbiot feels about nature, what he enjoys doing in Wales, and anecdotes and instructive stories from his past in a variety of locations outside of Europe These didn t help me very much in following the argument nor did they work that well in keeping me interested they may work brilliantly for you, of course, as those things are very personal in nature.It s not obvious, to me, whether Monbiot thinks that this re wilding idea is the way to do nature conservation or a way to do nature conservation If the former then he is wrong, if the latter then he is right Many species, including declining species, rely on farmed landscapes for their existence and we shouldn t abandon them and their needs for example while we wait for an overgrazed hillside to grow into an ancient woodland.Monbiot is not over generous in referencing the steps that many conservation organisations, and indeed individual landowners, are doing in the fields of species reintroduction, habitat restoration and habitat re creation there is quite a lot going on, it s difficult work and it s very expensive too But if his book brings the message of how much nature we have lost to manypeople, and persuades them that we might be better off mentally, physically and even financially, if we brought backwild nature then it will have done everyone a service.Monbiot largely leaves it to others to work out how to get from the mess we are in now to his rather unspecified better world That s fine, but it does need doing.Really wild places will have to be really big to be really useful There is no point, or not much at any rate, doing a bit of tinkering I d love to see us re flood The Fens, or some of them anyway, and bring back a living wetland that would store carbon, produce fish and other food and act as a wetland National Park for East Anglia I would love to see much of Salisbury Plain return to chalk grassland and low intensity arable farming with masses of butterflies and chalk grassland flowers and great bustards of course With good rail and road links from London this could become a weekend destination for re wilding addicts fleeing the big city Let s see large parts of upland Wales return to deciduous woodland with bison in the woods and bison burgers in the pubs.I m up for all of these, certainly after a drink or two, but in the cold light of day you can see that there might be a few sugar beet and carrot farmers in Cambridgeshire who are a bit less enthusiastic about the first some arable farmers un keen on the second and the odd Welsh sheep farmer who is concerned about the last one And that s a large part of the reason why they haven t happened yet not because nobody thought of them but because we were all too scared to push them as hard as they need to be pushed and for as long as they need to be pushed Maybe Monbiot s book will stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood and we can go back into the breach again.Any book that the President of the National Farmers Union hates must have something going for it and this book really does have a lot going for it It didn t, it seems, open Peter Kendall s mind to future prospects of exciting wild lands but your mind might swing openeasily Read it it should enthuse you about the possibilities of the future, but it certainly isn t a road map for getting there Feral searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding by George Monbiot is available onas is Mark Avery s book Fighting for Birds.This review first appeared on Mark Avery s website www.markavery.info This book is about rewilding The concept of rewilding is vague and has different meanings depending on who you talk to George Monbiot does a wonderful job of both explaining what rewilding is to him, and all many other shades of definition that exist.I was entranced by the visions of epic forests filled with lynx, wolves, and other wild animals As a child I would escape into woods wherever I could find them and pretend that these animals might exist now that I know they could, if enough peop This book is about rewilding The concept of rewilding is vague and has different meanings depending on who you talk to George Monbiot does a wonderful job of both explaining what rewilding is to him, and all many other shades of definition that exist.I was entranced by the visions of epic forests filled with lynx, wolves, and other wild animals As a child I would escape into woods wherever I could find them and pretend that these animals might exist now that I know they could, if enough people shared the same vision, I have a tiny burst of hope that the wild might come back to our sculpted, sheepwrecked land Monbiot makes an important point on this topic of consent Nevertheless, like all visions, rewilding must be constantly questioned and challenged It should happen only with the consent and enthusiasm of those who work on the land It must never be used as an instrument of expropriation or dispossession He does then continue on to say that Rewilding, paradoxically, should take place for the benefit of people, to enhance the world in which we live, and not for the sake of an abstraction we call Nature In each chapter, Monbiot depicts a different voyage, walk, exploration of the natural world His writing style is lyrical and does a wonderful job of expressing how he feels about what he sees For example, in his chapter named Sheepwrecked , the landscape is described as being in a state of destruction, and you can see how he is almost heartbroken by that No matter what side you believe you stand on when it comes to rewilding, this book is definitely something you should read There is so much information from studies and interviews, carefully conveyed, that without that knowledge I don t think either side can begin to discuss the topic with clarity Having said that, I don t think many people are on one side or the other as always, most of us are somewhere in between Even Monbiot has his moments as in the chapter entitled Hushings of doubt, or at least he is forced to thinkabout those who would be negatively affected by huge amounts of rewilding.This is an incredible book Dreams of truly wild flora and fauna thriving on landscape that was once in a state of destruction will stay with me forever I found this book wholly delightful It contains a mixture of adventures Monbiot has had in the wilder parts of the world and well reasoned arguments for allowingof the world to be wild The most powerful concept he uses is shifting baseline syndrome , the idea that we consider the countryside of our childhood to be the natural state of things This is a useful reminder that notions of wilderness are culturally and socially mediated I wasn t especially surprised to learn that the UK is I found this book wholly delightful It contains a mixture of adventures Monbiot has had in the wilder parts of the world and well reasoned arguments for allowingof the world to be wild The most powerful concept he uses is shifting baseline syndrome , the idea that we consider the countryside of our childhood to be the natural state of things This is a useful reminder that notions of wilderness are culturally and socially mediated I wasn t especially surprised to learn that the UK is especially resistant to rewilding and strangely convinced that fields of sheep occur naturally I wonder if this attachment to a specific vision of the past and general fear of visual change links also to the bizarrely fervent resistance to wind turbines The incredible, near feudal concentration of land ownership in the UK clearly also has a major impact here, as Monbiot notes.Perhaps I was predisposed to embrace the idea of rewilding, but I m gleeful at the prospect of wolves, boar, lynx, elk, and even elephants reinhabiting the UK I grew up in rural East Anglia, in a landscape wholly dominated by monocultures of oilseed rape Here and there pockets of habitat survived, in churchyards, around rivers, in hedgerows, and the odd meadow Woods, however, were basically non existent Monbiot s accounts of exploring beautiful regenerating forests made me want to live in Scotland, where the air is clean enough for trees to be draped with lichens and moss Given the sheer scale of human destruction chronicled in the book, it is impressive how positive the overall message is I suppose the massive amount of energy and effort expended to alter and degrade ecosystems implies a certain symmetry stop expending that energy and ecosystems will quite quickly reconfigure themselves Restricting climate change to asides also adds to this cheerful message Rewilding isclosely linked to climate change adaptation than mitigation, asdiverse habitats tend to beresilient Regarding mitigation, it can only be hoped that greater personal identification with the wild environment would change social priorities away from overconsumption Rewilding is, after all, subversive Although its economic side benefits are discussed, ultimately it involves prioritising economic inactivity over profit seeking use of land Indeed, I doubt that the discipline of mainstream economics would ever comprehend rewilding Monbiot himself stresses that the main benefit is the sheer wonder and enjoyment of wild places Current social s value what can be priced over such intangible concepts, so it is refreshing to find this challenged I was also amused to find a mention of how authenticity is a difficult and unhelpful concept, something I tied myself in knots about while reading Alone Together Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other Perhaps my favourite element of the book, though, was the excited descriptions of extinct megafauna It saddens me that, barring some great advance in cloning techniques, I ll never see a giant ground sloth I am deducting one star as the book could have a clearer structure The academic side of me likes to see an argument set out systematically, although that clearly wasn t the style intended here Nonetheless, reading this book made me happier and enthusiastic about the prospects of rewilding The landscape of the UK has been tamed by man and domestic animal for millennia, so much so that vast parts of it are almost monocultures now This legacy is one of the human desire to control and dominate their environment, and biodiversity has suffered as a result In this book Monbiot is advocating us to re engage with nature and considers bold and daring options to re wild the countryside Possibly the bravest of his suggestions is to reintroduce wolves First hearing this, most people will The landscape of the UK has been tamed by man and domestic animal for millennia, so much so that vast parts of it are almost monocultures now This legacy is one of the human desire to control and dominate their environment, and biodiversity has suffered as a result In this book Monbiot is advocating us to re engage with nature and considers bold and daring options to re wild the countryside Possibly the bravest of his suggestions is to reintroduce wolves First hearing this, most people will raise their hands in horror because of the danger, but as has been proven in America, and other parts of Europe, the reintroduction of a top level predator can shake the natural environment completely For example, having wolves back in Scotland will mean that the deer population can be controlled naturally, less deer will mean that the vegetation can grow and recover, and all these have a massive effect on the animals and plants up and down the food chain The planned and accidental introduction of beavers seems to have worked, with the changes that they make to the river systems hopefully will have a knock on effect by reducing flooding.He isn t a huge fan of sheep either These simple, harmless animals cause massive devastation to the landscape, almost to the point where there islife in a desert that on the Welsh uplands Areas that have had sheep excluded, within a handful of years will have a rich variety of flora and fauna The same principle applies to oceans the modern way of trawling with dragnets wreaks utter devastation to the ocean floor Simply banning that type of fishing in certain areas, and limiting activity in the margin of the zone will have a similar effect fairly soon too.But as ever change is never straightforward.Monbiot is normally a political writer, and as you d expect there is a political element to this book He considers the effects that the common agricultural policy has on our landscape, in particular that very little land can be left to go wild and must always be managed to be able to claim subsidies There is a part on the failed re wilding undertaken by the Germans, and also the evidence that our present native trees had evolved to cope with the mega fauna such as elephants and rhino that used to live here.There is at the moment precious political will to change things, coupled with powerful and frequently absent landowners with little desire for change, things are not going to happen soon For change as bold as this there needs to be full commitment from all stakeholders and parties involved, and I for one would like to see the reintroduction of the top level predators and the return of proper wilderness to parts of Britain.It is a well written and passionate plea for the necessary revolution that is needed in our natural world Well worth reading I think I didn t like it mainly because of the expectations I had I thought the focus was going to be philosophical Instead, what I got was the random adventures of a glorified boy scout The final straw for me was the smug tone he adopts when he talks about cryptozoologists Really annoying He just sounds like a spoilt brat So, after 50 odd pages I gave up If you can t grab my attention in 50 pages, you probably won t be able to do it later. I really was not impressed with this book at first I wanted a book on rewilding, and from the first page this seemed to be a record of Monbiot s mysterious adventures, boosted by delusions of grandeur I suppose he wanted to set the tone and establish that this wasn t a dry, factual tome but for me it just came off as pompous and distracting from the central point As the book went on, however, it grew on me I started to accept the book for what it really is a sort of memoir of a British env I really was not impressed with this book at first I wanted a book on rewilding, and from the first page this seemed to be a record of Monbiot s mysterious adventures, boosted by delusions of grandeur I suppose he wanted to set the tone and establish that this wasn t a dry, factual tome but for me it just came off as pompous and distracting from the central point As the book went on, however, it grew on me I started to accept the book for what it really is a sort of memoir of a British environmentalist, dissatisfied with the lack of biodiversity that surrounds him It was just structured around the concept of rewilding in this highly modified island, an island full of landscapes shaped by people and culture As the book progressed, he still wove in some stories in which he featured as an intrepid traveler performing brave feats, but I warmed to them somewhat because the rest of the text was so damn good I especially loved the chapters on Wales,which is one of my favourite places, and I really had not realised the full extent of modification in the uplands I found the chapters on reintroductions e.g wolves, lynx and marine conservation both captivating and compelling, and the information about reforesting the Scottish highlands was inspiring This book is indeed sentimental, but it is also built on a solid foundation of knowledge from Monbiot, the literature, and experts The chapter on how not to rewild at first threw me for a loop, as he invoked Godwin s law fairly early on, but by the end I realised what he was doing As a new migrant to the UK who seriously misses proper nature, this book gave me so much fodder for my imagination The world I constructed from the information in this book is a Britain I would love to see Unfortunately, aside from a few minor policy changes like re introducing a few animals and perhaps protecting a bitof the sea I can t fathom any of Monbiot s vision coming true The environment is not even part of the national dialogue here Still, I thoroughly enjoyed entertaining the notions in this book, and I would be happy if I was proven wrong and we really did rewild Britain I heard the author on NPR so I had to read the book The book is somewhat disjointed It s got passion but too much info But still read it It s very informative You learn about trophic cascades and shifting balance syndrome among other things Monbiot is a revolutionary, an iconoclast, a pragmatist, and someone who should be in charge of making things happen If you think the US is messed up in terms of its conservation you should look at the UK which Monbiot mercilessly grills over its inane I heard the author on NPR so I had to read the book The book is somewhat disjointed It s got passion but too much info But still read it It s very informative You learn about trophic cascades and shifting balance syndrome among other things Monbiot is a revolutionary, an iconoclast, a pragmatist, and someone who should be in charge of making things happen If you think the US is messed up in terms of its conservation you should look at the UK which Monbiot mercilessly grills over its inane policies which do everything to achieve the reverse of what s needed Although this book is pretty UK centric it s discouraging to see what constitutes management and conservation policy Monbiot points out that much of what we call the natural world is not so but a manmade construct that s relative to our point of view or time In the UK an obscenely small percent of the population own 69% of the land The landed gentry work against the land with their focus on hunting The farmer s lobby with the focus on neatness and removing woods, marshes as well as the pre eminence of sheep which destroy the land does nothing but make the land worse for wear Monbiot likens some areas of Wales to a desert no trees and the omnipresent sheep eating everything so there s no roots or grass And they wonder why there are so many floods in the UK now according to Monbiot Just a very interesting rant on the arrogance of man and how even his best attempt at management screws everything up Leave Mother Nature alone and let her be and we ll all be better off is Monbiot s message From the June 1 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press Books Section Rabble rousing U.K journalist George Monbiot doesn t much like sheep.In his eighth book, Feral, he minces no words about the effect the ruminants have on the British landscape Sheep farming in this country is a slow burning ecological disaster, which has donedamage to the living systems of this country than either climate change or industrial pollution Monbiot worked as an investigative journalist in Brazil, Indonesia an From the June 1 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press Books Section Rabble rousing U.K journalist George Monbiot doesn t much like sheep.In his eighth book, Feral, he minces no words about the effect the ruminants have on the British landscape Sheep farming in this country is a slow burning ecological disaster, which has donedamage to the living systems of this country than either climate change or industrial pollution Monbiot worked as an investigative journalist in Brazil, Indonesia and East Africa for six years He s been a columnist for The Guardian for nearly two decades, writing on multinational corporations 2000 s The Captive State , democratic reform 2003 s The Age of Consent and climate change 2006 s Heat.But it was a move to the Welsh countryside with his young family in 2007 that forced Monbiot to focus on his immediate surroundings the heaths and moors of the Cambrian Mountains.Even though his Guardian column demanded that he range across disciplines from science to economics to politics Monbiot realized he felt disengaged from his body and his environment He was, as he called it, ecologically bored After a little digging, Monbiot realized that the Welsh landscape was not especially natural As little as 1,300 years ago, according to the fossil record, most of the U.K was covered in forest Man cut down the trees and then filled the empty spaces with sheep, who browse anything green down to the ground Heather, which many nature lovers in Britain cherish, is typical of the hardy, shrubby plants which colonize deforested land, writes Monbiot I do not see heather moor as an indicator of the health of the upland environment, as many do, but as a product of ecological destruction What follows is an argument for the rewilding of the British uplands so as to reverse some of the environmental damage they ve sustained and re invigorate the people who live there.Rewilding, according to Monbiot, involves reintroducing absent plants and animals and in a few cases culling exotic species which cannot be contained by native wildlife , pulling down the fences, blocking the drainage ditches, but otherwise stepping back Monbiot advocates rewilding only in areas in which production is so low that farming continues only as a result of the taxpayer s generosity Readers may be wondering how Monbiot s ideas apply to the North American landscape While we don t have sheep, we do have cattle ranches and a high density of deer in both rural and urban areas And scientists and conservation officers across the country are currently asking some of the same questions Monbiot does on the value of maintaining and in some cases reintroducing keystone species such as beavers and wolves.Unfortunately, Monbiot sandwiches his largely compelling arguments between chapters that detail his goal to live a life richer in adventure and surprise In Monbiot s case that mostly seems to mean the times he nearly kills himself with his sea kayak In addition, while Monbiot was likely motivated by beginning a family to write Feral, there is no denying that the risk taking he describes is gendered It is predicated on the fact that there is someone at home with the children who is not trying to kill herself with a sea kayak.Combine those interludes with Monbiot s nostalgic recollections of his adventures in East Africa and Brazil and, well, you ve got a very manly book.Part of the posturing is probably due to the fact that Monbiot is a radical thinker and not a lowly scientist or an academic These stories are meant, at least in part, to establish Monbiot s bona fides.They re also likely an attempt to inject some colour into a book where he mostly wanders through the woods, muttering bleakly about sheep "/>
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life
  • George Monbiot
  • English
  • 22 October 2018
  • 0670067172