Environmentalism boils down to faith in the end

Churches, Weeds, Wildflowers and Wonder

Faith in the possibility of change, the prospect of a better future. For green shoots in the rubble, fresh water in the desert. And our faith is often tested.

Everywhere I have looked, everywhere I have been – places bent and broken, despoiled and desolate, polluted and poisoned, I have found new life springing from the wreckage of the old, life all the stranger and more valuable for its resilience. This is a corrupted world – yes- one long fallen from a state of grace – but it is a world too that knows how to live. It has a great capacity for repair, for recovery, for forgiveness – of a sort – if we can only learn to let it do so. Lands cleared for cultivation centuries before revert to forest in a matter of years. Environments stripped of their inhabitants can repopulate of their own accord. Even contaminated sites of the very worst kind can, when given the chance become ecosystems of singular importance.

The islands of abandonment in this book serve to remind us that not only big structured conservation projects that offer us hope for a return to the wild. The scrappy abandoned carpark at the end of your road. Consider it and every one like it a tiny islet in an archipelago stretching over the whole world. Stepping stones for species as they recognise what land was lost.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Buck and Caesar - Gif by orbOjunglist
Rise of the Planet of the Apes by Orbojunglist

Places like Bikini Atoll, Chernobyl and the Lothian bings show us that the absence of man is often all the stimulus required to start the resurrection. Time is, after all, a great healer.

The question is: how long does it need? and then: how long have we got?

It may not be long. This is the time for the confessional, of the admission of sins. This is the time to pray if you know how: to God or to Gaia.

Book Review: Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape by Cal Flynn

Extracted from: Islands of Abandonment

“What happens when humans foresake and ruin landscapes? They are never truly abandoned. Instead they are engulfed by the non-human world and they become teeming with many other foresaken wild lifeforms. The weeds, plants, insects, birds and large mammals move in and populate these places. Pushed to the brink of extinction elsewhere by the ever-expanding need for human progress – these ugly, abandoned fringes of our world are the places where these animals can finally breathe a sigh of relief.” ~ Cal Flynn

Islands of Abandonment is a book-length poem and an ode to the places humans have used, abused and then rejected due to pollution, war, or physical danger.

Published by Content Catnip

Content Catnip is a quirky internet wunderkammer written by an Intergalactic Space Māori named Content Catnip. Join me as I meander through the quirky and curious aspects of history, indigenous spirituality, the natural world, animals, art, storytelling, books, philosophy, travel, Māori culture and loads more.

2 thoughts on “Environmentalism boils down to faith in the end

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: