Can We Stop the Sixth Mass Extinction?

A concept painting shows what a park featuring cloned mammoths might look like. (Image by Raul Martin/National Geographic Creative)

“Of all the questions which can come before this nation, short of the actual preservation of its existence in a great war, there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.”
― Theodore Roosevelt

There are many problems arrayed against us in the midst of a human-driven sixth mass extinction, and many proposed solutions. What can be done in the face of it all, and what are the most important factors for those solutions succeeding? What must change? (Read all posts in this series.)

Certainly, more sustainable farming and living practices must be established. After having completed many sustainability projects in the Oceania region, I can personally attest to the importance of these. They include many things, like correct grazing patterns on pasture land, non-toxic farming methods, locally purchased goods, and pushing for more renewable energy, all of which will have an impact on the health of our ecosystems in a multitude of ways. A reduction in consumerist culture would be a boon as well, as it would reduce waste at every step in the global economy; this means consumers choosing long-term, high-quality options rather than planned-obsolescence fads and throwaways.

Beyond simply improving economic and farming practices on a continuous basis, though, there are other options for restoring the integrity of our world. One possible solution is rewilding, which essentially seeks to take sections of land and completely remake them in their ancient, pre-human image as much as possible. National parks run along these lines. The Pleistocene Park in Siberia has successfully reintroduced a handful of animal species that had completely vanished from —> Read More