Essay

Postnatural, post-wild, posthuman

Our troubled relationship with the Blue Marble

RACHAEL: Do you like our owl?

DECKARD: It’s artificial?

RACHAEL: Of course it is.

DECKARD: Must be expensive.

RACHAEL: Very.

Blade Runner (1982)

THE COURSE OF human history has sometimes been shifted on its axis by a single image. Phan Thi Kim Phúc fleeing naked from a napalm attack in 1972 brought the pointless brutality of the Vietnam War to suburban American TV screens. Similarly, the tiny, lifeless body of Aylan Shenu being carried from a Turkish shore in 2015 catalysed an international outcry about refugee policies. Ironically, the image credited with galvanising the modern environmental movement was not taken on Earth at all, but about 29,000 kilometres up in space. On 7 December 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 – en route to the moon – snapped a shot of the Earth, the first such image to show the planet almost fully illuminated. Known as the ‘Blue Marble’, it is one of the most widely shared images of all time, showing the Earth at once achingly beautiful, utterly lonely...and comprehensively finite.

Even before the astronauts returned to Earth, the image was appearing on T-shirts and posters everywhere. ‘Regional conflict and petty differences could be dismissed as trivial compared with environmental dangers that threatened all of humanity, travelling together through the void on this fragile-­looking marble,’ wrote Gregory A Petsko in a 2011 essay in Genome Biology. [i]

Perhaps the ultimate paradox of the Blue Marble is not just what the image depicts, but how it was taken. What other species on the planet is so brilliantly inventive as to be able to land itself on the moon – yet so systematically determined to soil its own nest?

 

ATMOSPHERIC CHEMIST PAUL J Crutzen received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the damaging impact of nitrous oxide from fertilisers on the ozone layer. But he is probably better known for popularising the concept of the Anthropocene, the geological age in which humans have emerged as a planetary force of such power that we have comprehensively transformed the Earth.[ii] Crutzen and colleagues identified the mid-­eighteenth century as the beginning of this era, when polar ice-­core analysis first provided evidence that human activities were changing the composition of the atmosphere, distinguishing this pivot point from the previous 11,000-­year-­long Holocene period in which the Earth’s climate had been relatively stable and benign.

In terms of biological impacts, of course, human presence on this planet has been felt far longer. The big-­brained hairy bipeds that emerged from Africa more than 50,000 years ago were able to use tools, control fires and communicate in an increasingly sophisticated fashion. Armed with these talents, they wasted no time in showing the lack of self-­restraint needed to share their world with fellow species, contributing to the extinction of more than half the Earth’s mammalian megafauna – woolly mammoths, giant sloths and the like – in the late Quaternary Period 50,000–10,000 years ago. [iii]The rise of organised agricultural societies accelerated these effects by clearing land, transforming soils and domesticating certain favoured species. [iv]

It was in 1776 that James Watt and his coal-­combustion steam engine really got things going, ending the Holocene – described by Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre as ‘humanity’s period of grace’.[v] Today, the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, largely derived from the burning of fossil fuels, is almost 50 per cent higher than in the Industrial Revolution,[vi] and the impacts are all around. In the words of novelist Ian McEwan, the Earth is now ‘subject to the hot breath of humanity’, with average global temperatures about 1.1 degrees Celsius warmer than in Watt’s time. It doesn’t sound like much, but shorthand averages hide a world of momentous disruption that started to become pretty obvious, at least with hindsight, in the 1950s – a period now designated as the Great Acceleration. [vii]

Fast forward to 2019–20 and we have experienced unprecedented bushfires in Australia that burnt an area nearly three times the size of Tasmania and killed or displaced at least three billion native animals.[viii] Last June, the town of Verkhoyansk in north-­eastern Siberia recorded a daytime temperature of 38 degrees.[ix] As I write, in the late winter of 2020, the latest manifestation of the climate disaster is the news that twenty-­eight trillion tonnes of ice have been lost from the Earth’s surface since 1994.[x] Greenland’s ice sheet has ‘passed a point of no return’, meaning that the snow that normally replenishes the glaciers each year can no longer keep pace with the ice melt. This is a process that could continue for millennia, even after global temperatures stabilise.[xi] The Greenland ice sheet holds enough water to raise global sea levels seven metres. I could go on.

It’s not just the climate we are transforming. To quote BBC journalist Laura Holt: ‘There remains very little of nature that does not bear the “sticky fingerprints” of humanity in some way.[xii] If the Earth is our home, we are certainly re-engineering the plumbing. We divert more than 50 per cent of the Earth’s freshwater for our use, and over the past 140 years one new dam (forty-­five metres or higher) has been built every day.[xiii] With about half the Earth’s land area exploited in some way, [xiv] extinction rates of species are at least a hundred, perhaps a thousand times the average rate estimated from the fossil record, and accelerating. [xv]

But it is our penchant for domesticating and eating a small number of favoured species that provides the most compelling evidence of transformation. An extraordinary census of the distribution and trends of life on Earth published in 2018 estimated that the present-­day biomass of wild land mammals is sevenfold lower than before the Quaternary megafaunal extinction. [xvi] Today, humans and their mammalian livestock – cows, sheep, pigs and the like – comprise nearly 96 per cent of all mammalian biomass on Earth, and more than 70 per cent of all individual birds currently alive are domesticated poultry. That’s an awful lot of chickens.

 

THAT THE ANTHROPOCENE is upon us can hardly be doubted, but what has increasingly been questioned over the past decade or so is whether the Anthropocene must be all bad. Can we have a good one – or at least a less bad one – than we might otherwise be fated to?

The original concept of a ‘good’ Anthropocene can be traced to ‘The planet of no return: human resilience on an artificial Earth’, a paper published by environmental scientist Erle Ellis in 2011. Ellis argued that humans are not fettered by the same biophysical limits as other species, as evidenced by the fact that we have continued to prosper while transforming the Earth, a concept more recently dubbed ‘the environmental paradox’. Human systems, Ellis argued, have proved ‘extraordinarily resilient’ to both environmental and social change, urging us to ‘not see the Anthropocene as a crisis, but as the beginning of a new geological epoch ripe with human-­directed opportunity’. In Ellis’ view, the succour of the Blue Marble is limited only by our imagination and technology.

Ellis is entitled to his opinion, but I can’t help wondering how much comfort his words would be to any one of the twenty-­million people displaced by not-­so-natural climate disasters every year[xvii] or, closer to home, to anyone who lost a loved one or home in the unprecedented ferocity of the Black Summer bushfires. Global trends can mask many local tragedies. In a spirited riposte to the very notion of a good Anthropocene, The Australia Institute’s Clive Hamilton declared: ‘The power of positive thinking can’t turn malignant tumours into benign growths, and it can’t turn planetary overreach into endless lifestyle improvements.’ [xviii]

So much for the glass half-­full. The alternative, and far more prevalent, view is that we have made such a comprehensive hash of looking after our life-­support system that the best we can hope for is to slow down our inevitable catastrophic demise. The most recent United Nations assessment of the health of global biodiversity gave humanity an F-­minus report card, noting that we have failed to meet even one of the twenty targets for ecological recovery set a decade ago. Even without climate change, the sixth mass extinction event is clearly underway, and this time we can’t blame a stray meteor.

The ‘bad’ Anthropocene is predicated on the notion that human activities are overwhelming the carrying capacity of the Blue Marble. There is even an official day each year designated Earth Overshoot Day, when we are estimated to have consumed our whole year’s supply of renewable biological resources. In the early 1970s, this day was in late December, creeping forward to late July/early August over the past decade. In 2020, it was 22 August, the COVID-­19 pandemic having delayed it by about three weeks. It’s worth noting that if the rest of the world was as profligate with resources as Australians, the day would be around the end of March.

An attempt to put some solid numbers on how close we are to the precipice of peak everything was first attempted in 2009. A group of Earth system and environmental scientists, led by Rockström and Will Steffen from the Australian National University, identified nine ‘planetary life-­support systems’ that together define ‘a safe operating space for humanity’.[xix] They estimated that three of these boundaries – biodiversity loss, climate change and the altered global nitrogen cycle – may have been crossed already and, like the Greenland ice, be potentially past the point of no return.

Having alerted us to the proximity of catastrophic tipping points beyond which we are basically screwed, Rockström has surprisingly proved to be an optimist. His 2015 book Big World, Small Planet: Abundance Within Planetary Boundaries, illustrated with images from photographer Mattias Klum, is a rallying cry that it’s not too late, setting out a safe – albeit challenging – path to avoid disastrous tipping points. ‘Abundance within planetary boundaries requires a deep mind-shift,’ he says. ‘Not growth without limits. Not limits to growth, but growth within limits.’

So, if indeed the future is challenging but not completely without hope, if perhaps we can save ourselves despite our dismal track record thus far, the question is: how?

 

A LAY PERSON might imagine that all those scooped under the umbrella of ecologists/environmentalists/hairy greenie tree-huggers would have roughly the same approach to saving the Earth. Not so. And not only is there significant disagreement about what to do, each has made some fairly trenchant criticism of the other sides. Johan Rockström, for example, writes that environmentalists are part of the problem – creating a movement based on protecting nature that has been so successful it has ‘contaminated everyone’s thinking’ by emphasising the intrinsic separateness of humans and the natural world. They seem like harsh words, but in fact Rockström was only echoing a controversy brought to a head in 2005 with the publication of ‘The death of environmentalism’, an essay by Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, published by the Breakthrough Institute.[xx]

Shellenberger and Nordhaus’ essay decried the notion of idealising nature and treating all humanity as a blight. This idea, they declared, ‘must die so that something new can live’. ‘Naturalness’, they suggested, was no longer a sufficient guide as to what must be conserved. Thus, the battle between the ‘deep greens’ and ‘ecomodernists/ecopragmatists’ was set. Not surprisingly, many in the environmental movement took deep offence at being seen as part of the problem, with Carl Pope, former CEO of the Sierra Club, doing a particularly thorough demolition job of the Shellenberger and Nordhaus straw man.[xxi]  But with whichever end of the good versus bad Anthropocene continuum one feels most affinity, all can agree that nature ain’t what it used to be – humanised landscapes are everywhere, and the concept of what is ‘native’ as opposed to what is cultivated continues to blur. In her popular 2016 TED talk, Emma Marris, a prominent advocate for the ecopragmatism/modernist greens in a post-­wild age, raised applause when she noted that even national parks take a lot of work to make them look untouched.[xxii]  What can also be agreed is that whatever we have left is worth looking after. In the words of Paul Wapner in Living Through the End of Nature, ‘we must rise to the level of responsibility that taking over nature entails’.

 

HOW THEN, SHOULD we navigate this precious ark, overstuffed as it is with people and cows and chickens? The challenges have never been greater, and resources never so stretched. With a solid dose of deep-­green idealism but with more than a pinch of pragmatism, I humbly offer my top ten suggestions, a personal manifesto for the Blue Marble.

One: We must never give up the fight to stop the big bad things. While ever there is land to build on, a species to make money from or an atom of fossilised carbon to be burnt, some human will seek to invade, occupy, exploit or burn. I hope that some of us at least will keep taking to the streets, laying down before the bulldozers, chaining ourselves to trees. Resisting and repelling has a proud history – and sometimes it even works. The collective effort to ban commercial whaling has seen the global humpback population restored to over 90 per cent of its pre-whaling numbers,[xxiii] incidentally bringing joy to thousands of people and supporting a multimillion dollar tourist industry. Bob Brown refused to give up on the Franklin River, spawning the Australian green movement; the Franklin-­Gordon Wild Rivers National Park is now part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area covering 20 per cent of the state. Once upon a time, Adani was an ordinary Indian surname, but has now become a rallying cry for the anti-­fossil fuel endeavour, a community of activists that will continue to grow and draw strength from one another long after the last coal-­fired power station has been left stranded on the shore of rationality.

Two: ‘Restoration’ is dead; long live ‘renovation’. Given the scale and rapidity of climate and other environmental change, turning back the clock to some past Edenic vision is a futile exercise. Nature is redistributing itself whether we like it or not. Suzanne Prober and her colleagues at CSIRO draw the analogy best:[xxiv] some areas should be treated like a historic house, with conservation activities aimed at preserving the good bits – being faithful to the bones, but without going back to chamber-­pots and candles. Let’s nurture the fragments that remain, abiding by Aldo Leopold’s dictum that the first rule of intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts.[xxv] Consider the critically endangered Marsican brown bear in the central Apennines of Italy, where old apple trees in abandoned orchards are being maintained by volunteers to feed the sixty or so remaining individuals – not a traditional wilderness program, but gentle nudges of nature that benefit both human and non-­human participants. [xxvi]

Let us also seek interventions that, where we can, put back the wild things that have been lost. Growing enthusiasm for the ‘rewilding’ of landscapes, whether to conserve endangered species across broader ranges, or restore ecological functions such as predation, is appearing on multiple continents with some notable successes. Giant tortoises have been introduced to Madagascar to replace the ecological functions of the now extinct native species[xxvii] and the reintroduction of grey wolves in Yellowstone has rebalanced food webs. [xxviii]

Like any quality home renovation, however, taking care of nature costs money. Brendan Wintle from the University of Melbourne and colleagues have estimated that only $122 million per year is currently spent on targeted threatened species recovery in Australia. This is a tenth of what is spent in the US endangered species recovery program, and about 15 per cent of what is needed to avoid extinctions and recover threatened species. [xxix] Now consider that every one of the twelve new submarines ordered by the Australian Government will cost $18.75 billion over their lifetime.[xxx] Just saying.

Three: Let us be bolder in our positive interventions. A Hippocratic-­style oath to ‘Do no harm’ is all very well, but let us not interpret it as ‘Do nothing at all’. For a start, we need to be a bit more relaxed about where things live, as long as they live somewhere. Consider what a humble rat can tell us about what happens when we are too timid, or too lazy, or just don’t care enough. The Bramble Cay melomys, a native Australian rodent, was formerly resident of just one tiny sandy atoll in the Torres Strait. In the late ’70s, the melomys population comprised several hundred individuals. By the ’90s, less than a hundred remained, and the species was listed as endangered in 2000. The last melomys was seen by a fisherman in 2009, and in 2015 the species was declared extinct. Inspection of the atoll revealed that it had been repeatedly inundated in storms – the last of the species likely to have simply drowned while no one was looking. The melomys now has the dubious distinction of being the first mammalian extinction anywhere in the world that has been confidently attributed to climate change. The real tragedy of the melomys is that its demise was utterly avoidable. How hard would it have been to put a few individuals on another island (perhaps a bit further above sea level) as an insurance policy? Some might think it an ‘unnatural act’, but extinction is indeed forever. I can hear Shellenberger and Nordhaus saying, ‘I told you so.’

Four: Try to not screw up the lives of other living things as we adapt to our own changing circumstances. As Erle Ellis and fellow ecopragmatists assert, humans (well, at least the ones with money and other privileges) can indeed adapt their way out of many tight spots. We can build dams to shore up our own water security, bulldoze fire breaks to protect property during wildfires and erect sea walls to keep rising waters at bay. But actions such as these have collateral damage for species and ecosystems. Some conservation biologists have gone so far as to assert that humans adapting to climate change is a greater threat to biodiversity than the direct impacts of the climate itself. [xxxi]

Instead of these hard engineering responses to the climate threat, we can look to natural systems for solutions – let us create ‘living seawalls’ that provide habitat to protect us from inundation[xxxii] and restore mangroves and coral reefs that protect shorelines and people from storms and coastal erosion. [xxxiii] Save nature, save ourselves.

Five: We need to face our cognitive dissonance with respect to environmental management. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about our approach to the world around us is just how hard it is to undertake positive environmental interventions, and how astonishingly easy it is to do harm. Moving a rat, or a possum or even a rare tree to another place requires the jumping through of so many legislative and policy hoops that it has thus far proved virtually impossible. But we continue to clear land and destroy habitat with near impunity. Sixty-­eight million animals were estimated to have been killed by land clearing in Queensland from mid-­2013 to mid-­2015 alone.[xxxiv] In 2018, the WWF Living Planet Report declared eastern Australia one of the top eleven worst deforestation hotspots in the world, the only developed country to make this list of shame.[xxxv] More than 90 per cent of that clearing was for beef-­cattle grazing. How extraordinary that moving a few little rats to save a whole species is too hard, while it’s okay to cover swathes of the country with sharp-­hooved, methane-­belching ruminants – surely there is no species more deserving of the moniker ‘invasive alien’ than the cow?

Six: Rejoice in all nature, even in our own backyards. With fading hopes that the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement – to keep global temperature rises below 1.5 degrees Celsius – will be met, there is much interest in so-­called ‘negative emissions technologies’, methods to take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Most of us have the original and best negative emissions technology in our backyards. It’s called a tree.

Greening our cities doesn’t just have carbon benefits. Urban centres, where more than half of the world’s people now live,[xxxvi] can be several degrees warmer than surrounding areas, but can enjoy substantial climate amelioration from green cover. Around a quarter of Australia’s threatened plants and 46 per cent of threatened animals are found in urban areas, so it’s critical that conservation strategies be implemented literally at our back doors. [xxxvii] But perhaps most importantly of all, abundant evidence (especially during the 2020 lockdown) points to the green in our environs being critical for our mental health. Let us look to Singapore, one of the most densely populated cities on Earth, that continues the work of six decades to achieve its vision not just to be a garden city, but a ‘city in a garden’. [xxxviii]

Seven: Use economic arguments when we need to. In 1997, a group of economists led by Robert Costanza at the Australian National University made the extraordinary calculation that global ecosystems provide subsidies to the world economy of US$16–54 trillion annually (estimated average: $33 trillion) – about 1.8 times global GNP.[xxxix] This was considered on the conservative side, and in 2014 a second paper by the same team later upped the ante: global ecosystems were valued at $125–145 trillion per year.[xl] A decade on again, the global project The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity was initiated in Europe with the aim of ‘making nature’s values visible...to mainstream the values of biodiversity and ecosystem services into decision-­making at all levels’. [xli] For some, putting a crass cash value on ecosystems amounts to an insidious neoliberal agenda aimed at selling off nature to the highest bidder. But it is also the ultimate form of ecological pragmatism – fighting the economic rationalists with their own medicine to put paid to the notion that the economy and the environment are separate and competing entities. If it works, let’s use it.

Eight: Celebrate human ingenuity in shaping the natural world to our own ends, but use it for good. In 2005, Richard Pell and Lauren Allen coined the term ‘postnatural’ to describe organisms intentionally and/or genetically altered by humans, and set up a small museum in Pittsburgh to showcase them.[xlii] The Center for PostNatural History has an eclectic collection of organisms that are the ‘living embodiments of human desires and fears, heritably accumulated over time’. Exhibits include Freckles the BioSteel™ Goat, genetically modified to produce spider silk proteins in her milk that are spun into high-­tensile fibres; a ribless mouse embryo; and Escherichia coli bacteria genetically engineered to be the first living photographic biofilm. Interesting oddities perhaps, but also a celebration of human creativity in the Anthropocene, using the building blocks of millions of years of evolution.

The ultimate manifestation of postnatural cleverness is the burgeoning field of synthetic biology that puts together new, useful organisms from natural and artificial components. It’s like Lego for biology nerds. Rapidly advancing techniques are finding many applications for conservation, such as the precision genetic manipulation of the mosquitoes that transmit avian malaria in Hawaii, a disease that has devastated endemic bird populations.[xliii] A high-­tech version of rewilding is now also being used to ‘bring back’ species that have been extinct from decades to millennia. ‘Resurrection scientists’ are aiming, for example, to bring back woolly mammoths – or at least something approximating a mammoth – by introducing genes that mimic characteristics of the extinct species into the genome of the Asian elephant, a close relative.[xliv] Like any potentially positive environmental intervention, ‘de-­extinction’ has its detractors. Some make practical arguments: where would you put a mammoth if you had one anyway? But others go to the heart of conservation practice. Conservation ecologist Stuart Pimm, for example, warns against ‘molecular gimmickry’ that gives unscrupulous developers a veil to hide their rapaciousness with promises to fix things later’. [xlv] But given that agricultural scientists have been tinkering with the genetics of plants and animals for millennia via selective breeding, can the approximate re-­creation of species no longer with us be all bad? Surely it’s still better than the Blade Runner owl.

Nine: Never forget that we are nature too. René Descartes has a lot to answer for. In the so-­called Age of Enlightenment, the father of modern philosophy framed humans as essentially separate from nature and non-­human beasts, a dualism that has pervaded Western thought and behaviour in relation to the environment ever since.[xlvi] This idea, never shared by indigenous peoples, should now be well and truly put to bed. The iconic Paul Kelly, Kev Carmody and Mairead Hannan song about a land dispute puts it best. The farmer, voiced by Kelly, sings ‘This land is mine’, followed by the spine-­shivering response from Carmody: ‘This land is me.’

Ten: Stay hopeful – for without hope we give up. It can be hard. As Aldo Leopold noted in A Sand County Almanac, ‘one of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds’ – and that was published in 1949! Environmentalists are battle-­weary, attempting to maintain their psyches by celebrating tiny victories against a backdrop of extraordinary loss. Climate scientists lie awake at night fearing the end of the world and wondering if having children was such a good idea.

But really, what choice is there but to keep trying? Let us hold to the advice of Wendell Berry in his ‘Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front’: ‘Be joyful / though you have considered all the facts.[xlvii]

 

WE EMERGE BLINKING from the Great Anthropause of 2020 to reflect that humanity, for all its ecomodernist optimism and technological bravado, has been brought to its collective knees by an organism one thousandth the width of a human hair. As we locked ourselves away, portents of a posthuman world materialised: clean water, clear skies and wild animals roaming the streets of cities. Non-­human nature impatient to reassert itself.

The social scientist Christian Lund has described such life ruptures as ‘open moments, when opportunities and risk multiply...when new structural scaffolding is erected’. [xlviii] Perhaps we can erect new scaffolding on the lonely Blue Marble with a little more humility?

Let the last lines of Haroon Rashid’s lockdown poem ‘We Fell Asleep’ have the last word:

The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it’s sending us a message: ‘You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters.’

 

REFERENCES

 

[i] Petsko GA (2011) The blue marble. Genome Biology 12:112 http://genomebiology.com/2011/12/4/112

[ii] Crutzen, P. J. & Stoermer, E. F. (2000) The Anthropocene IGBP Newsletter 41 (Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, 2000); Crutzen P (2002) The geology of mankind. Nature 415: 23; Steffen W, Crutzen P, McNeill J (2007) The Anthropocene: are humans now overwhelming the great forces of Nature? Ambio 36: 614-621

[iii] Koch PL, Barnovsky AD (2006) Late Quaternary extinctions: state of the debate. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 37:215-250

[iv] Ellis EC (2015) Ecology in an anthropogenic biosphere. Ecological Monographs 85: 287–331

[v] Röckstrom J, Klum M (2015) Big World, Small Planet: Abundance within Planetary Boundaries, Yale University Press

[vi] https://www.co2.earth/

[vii] Steffen W, Broadgate W, Deutsch L, Gaffney O, Ludwig C (2015) The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration.The Anthropocene Review 2: 81–98

[viii] WWF-Australia (2020) Australia’s 2019-2020 bushfires: the wildlife toll. Interim Report. https://www.wwf.org.au/news/news/2020/3-billion-animals-impacted-by-australia-bushfire-crisis#gs.dnhsom

[ix] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-wmo-russia/russia-confirms-record-high-temperature-in-siberian-town-idUSKBN2412SG

[x] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/aug/23/earth-lost-28-trillion-tonnes-ice-30-years-global-warming

[xi] King D et al. (2020) Dynamic ice loss from the Greenland Ice Sheet driven by sustained glacier retreat. Nature Communications Earth & Environment https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-020-0001-2

[xii] https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190502-why-the-post-natural-age-could-be-strange-and-beautiful

[xiii] Crutzen P (2002) The geology of mankind. Nature 415: 23; Bai X et al (2016) Plausible and desirable futures in the Anthropocene: A new research agenda. Global Environmental Change 39: 351-362.

[xiv] Crutzen 2002 ibid

[xv] https://naturalhistory.si.edu/education/teaching-resources/paleontology/extinction-over-time#:~:text=Regardless%2C%20scientists%20agree%20that%20today's,one%20million%20species%20per%20year.

[xvi] Bar-On Y, Phillips R, Milo R (2018) The biomass distribution on Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 650606511

[xvii] …. https://reliefweb.int/map/world/record-number-displaced-due-natural-disasters-first-half-2019; https://media.oxfam.org.au/2019/12/climate-fuelled-disasters-forcing-people-from-homes/

[xviii] Hamilton C (2014) The delusion of the “good” Anthropocene: reply to Andrew Revkin. https://clivehamilton.com/the-delusion-of-the-good-anthropocene-reply-to-andrew-revkin/

[xix] Rockström, Johan; et al. (2009). Planetary Boundaries: exploring a safe operating space for humanity. Ecology and Society 14 doi:10.5751/ES-03180-140232.

[xx] Shellenberger M, Nordhaus T (2005) The death of environmentalism: global warming politics in a post-environmental world. The Breakthrough Institute https://s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/uploads.thebreakthrough.org/legacy/images/Death_of_Environmentalism.pdf

[xxi] Pope C (2005) An in-depth response to “The Death of Environmentalism” https://grist.org/article/pope-reprint/

[xxii] https://www.ted.com/talks/emma_marris_nature_is_everywhere_we_just_need_to_learn_to_see_it/discussion?nolanguage=he1

[xxiii] https://time.com/5837350/humpback-whales-recovery-hope-planet/#:~:text=Many%20humpback%20whale%20populations%2C%20previously,whaling%2C%20are%20making%20a%20comeback.&text=The%20ban%20of%20commercial%20whaling,93%25%20of%20its%20original%20size.

[xxiv] Prober SM et al. (2019) Shifting the conservation paradigm: a synthesis of options for renovating nature under climate change. Ecological Monographs 89 e01333

[xxv] Leopold A (1949) A Sand County almanac and sketches here and there. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

[xxvi] https://www.outdoorconservation.eu/project-detail.cfm?projectid=1298#:~:text=Following%20completion%20in%20spring%202019,pruning%20area%20have%20been%20found.

[xxvii] https://rewilding.org/rewilding-giant-tortoises-in-madagascar/

[xxviii] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/25/yellowstone-wolf-project-25th-anniversary#:~:text=Twenty%2Dfive%20years%20ago%20this,carnivore%20to%20a%20large%20ecosystem.

[xxix] Wintle B et al. (2019) Spending to save: What will it cost to halt Australia’s extinction crisis? Conservation Letters 9:12:e12682

[xxx] https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6517803/new-sub-fleet-blows-out-to-225-billion/?cs=14231#:~:text=over%20their%20lifetime.-,Australia's%20new%2012%2Dstrong%20submarine%20fleet%20will%20cost%20taxpayers%20%24225,defence%20to%20be%20%2450%20billion.

[xxxi] Watson JEM (2014) Human responses to climate change will seriously impact biodiversity conservation: it’s time we start planning for them. Conservation Letters 7: 1-2. doi: 10.1111/conl.12083

[xxxii] https://www.sims.org.au/page/130/living-seawalls-landing

[xxxiii] https://publications.iadb.org/publications/english/document/Nature-based-Solutions-to-Enhance-Coastal-Resilience.pdf

[xxxiv] https://www.wwf.org.au/ArticleDocuments/353/pub-australian-animals-lost-to-bulldozers-in-queensland-2013-15-25aug17.pdf.aspx?Embed=Y

[xxxv] https://www.wwf.org.au/knowledge-centre/living-planet-report#gs.e20juo

[xxxvi] https://news.un.org/en/story/2014/07/472752-more-half-worlds-population-now-living-urban-areas-un-survey-finds

[xxxvii] https://www.acf.org.au/new_report_reveals_extinction_crisis_in_the_suburbs

[xxxviii] https://www.cbd.int/doc/meetings/city/subws-2014-01/other/subws-2014-01-presentation-singapore-en.pdf

[xxxix] Costanza R et al. (1997) The value of the world's ecosystem services and natural capital. Nature 387:253-260

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[xli] http://www.teebweb.org/

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