Book Review of “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World”

May 21, 2013 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Protection of Species, Daily Email Recap

Book Review of “Rambunctious Garden: Saving Nature in a Post-Wild World” by Emma Marris

Emma Marris, the author of Rambunctious Garden (RG), loves the nature hiding in back street alleys and along the highway median strip. Marris believes it’s time to abandon (or de-emphasize) what she sees as outdated and naïve conservation strategies such as creation of national parks and wilderness reserves.  She feels the biggest obstacles to a bold new world of “designer” and “novel” ecosystems is the “wilderness cult” that naively wants to preserve “natural” landscapes-which she says do not exist anymore.

Marris espouses the anthropocentric perspective that the Earth is more or less a resource cookie jar for humans-to be used carefully to be sure-but she doesn’t really question whether ethically or ecologically this is ultimately a good idea.

Marris is a cheerleader for the dangerous concept that humans are both intelligent enough and wise enough to “manage” the Earth-the ‘smart resource management’ school of thought. She is a prime example of the kind person biologist David Ehrenfeld had in mind when he wrote his book the Arrogance of Humanism. Embrace weeds, we are told. Assemble new designer ecosystems that can flourish with human activities. Increased economic growth is not seen as a problem, rather an opportunity to work with industry for the betterment of nature.

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