EDITOR’S NOTE: George Monbiot is a friend of Mountain Journal’s and he’s considered one of the premiere commentators about threats to nature in the world. The English writer, with millions of people who follow him, has a keen interest in Greater Yellowstone as a beacon for conservation, ecosystem intactness and what it represents for the cause of rewilding—i.e. bringing back species that were eliminated from landscapes, including in the United Kingdom where he makes his home. Monbiot is a regular columnist for The Guardian with whom Mountain Journal has collaborated since our founding in 2017. While many tout the obvious virtues of “collaboration” and “compromise,” Monbiot warns in his essay below about environmental organizations that are promoting an expanding human footprint over protecting wild and pastoral landscapes that remain. Sometimes, only by considering parallels elsewhere are we better able to understand what’s happening in our own backyard. We are republishing this piece with his permission.
by George Monbiot
Out of this horror comes hope. In the backwash of the pandemic’s first wave, we see the shingled ruins of the old economy, and the chance to construct a new one. As we rebuild our economic life, we should do it on green principles, averting a crisis many times greater than the coronavirus: climate breakdown and the collapse of our life-support systems.
This means no more fossil fuel-based infrastructure. Even existing infrastructure, according to climate scientists, could push us past crucial thresholds. It means an end to megaprojects whose main purpose is enriching construction companies.
About George Monbiot
George Monbiot (pronounced MON-bee-oh) is a British writer known for his environmental and political activism. He writes a weekly column for The Guardian and is the author of a number of books, including Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding. From afar he was a fascination with the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and sees it as an important lens for thinking about rewilding places where wildlife has been lost.