What does “wilderness” mean?
I believe wilderness is a reference to large tracts of country uninhabited by humans, which haven’t been closely documented by technological civilisations. The size of the tract is a matter of perspective, as are the appropriate qualitative conditions. For instance, a grassland may represent a wilderness to somebody from a forested area, regardless of relative species diversity. The wastes of the Polar Regions may seem to some people as very remote and undocumented, but perhaps lacking in sufficient vegetable kingdom life-forms to qualify as a wilderness. The Native Americans say they had no word for wilderness, but I would be interested to know exactly how much inter-biome traffic there was prior to contact with capitalism. If it is the case that Indians rarely, if ever, ventured outside their own ecological locale, then there is a possibility that other biomes may have resembled a “wilderness” to them, had they encountered them. Persons from the temperate rainforest of the Northwest finding themselves in the Arizona desert may well have considered they had stumbled into a hostile and even “uncontrollable” realm.
Preservation or Conservation?
We always have to remember that the “big picture” is different than the immediate impression. The immediate impression is that there will always be more, there will always be some solution, there will always be an end to bad things. This caters to all areas of the human political spectrum. The big picture says otherwise. The big picture says that species extinction is symptomatic of a form of stoichiometric undertow in the natural cycles of this world. Large concentrations of chemicals that used to be distributed according to an unimaginably vast synergetic physical language are now accumulating in specific corners of the globe. Elements vital to life are being manipulated and altered by technological cultures, to the point where tar macadam and desertification rival chlorophyll (directly and through by-products). It is extremely tempting to go with immediate impression and declare that preservation is the morally superior thing to do. However, if current hard data is any indication, humankind is travelling at breakneck speed toward an abyss. We are like an exceptional child in school, bored by the lack of challenge in our studies, choosing to indulge in activities that bring instant gratification instead. We crave a greater challenge than this antiseptic, mechanised order can provide. This emotional, intellectual and psychological stagnation may be beyond our control, and a “caning” from the teacher is inevitable. This disciplining event could assume the form of a sudden and catastrophic decline in population, technology and self-organisation (from the cellular to the global). The only places free from contaminated soil and water (if we are lucky) at this point will be today’s “preservations”. Thus, today’s preservations will provide a conservation area for tomorrow’s survivors of the tipping point. My contention is that a two-tiered system should be maintained – the conservation areas being set aside for foreseeable future use, and preservations being held in the “time bank”, as it were, without there being any explicit discussion of what their eventual fate may be (People as Ostrich). This ultimately means that all is conservation, and all is conducted with the future in mind.
I view nature as representative of a more involved, previous medium. It is by no means “original” in its current manifestation, but is nevertheless a link to the primal conditions that borne life. The hole in my belly is a pipeline through to the Big Bang. I have more respect for the soil under my fingernails, and the microbes on the hairs on my chest, than I have for the NASDAQ or the British Empire. The taste and purpose of soil far surpasses that of American processed foods. This detergent buffer is a destroyer, not a preservative. The gloss of an earthworm is priceless, but the Crown Jewels carry a price writ in blood and exploitation. When the massive trees sway collectively in the tropical storm, like seaweed, they fill in the vacuum, obeying the chaotic spontaneous commands of the full void. The dusty moon splashes the light of our energy back at us from its meaty core, and eyeballs never sleep on this turning dream in collective consciousness. Evolution is hermetically blended with chemical and physical time, and this consciousness is nothing special; it simply is. There are no gaps in the fabric of reality; there is only energy (which is matter) and time (which is space), or vice versa. The equation performs infinite gymnastic solutions, and much is symmetric, despite being inorganic or supposedly dead. The fact is, there is no alive, there is no dead. Only the observing hominid eye attempts to decipher or impose meaning. The rest are too busy. They are fighting for their lives, in the region beyond the disinfectant. Like dissolves like. Predator swallows prey. Beautiful are the components, for which we attempt to provide music to express their elegance, their ferociousness, their such-ness. Music began as an accompaniment to the rituals played out by nature. We traded trinkets and bone and stone. They all had a price, but not fire. Fire was here before the gloss on the worm, before the scab formed on the mantle, before the Thing had even started to slow down. Fire is energy (which is matter). When the energy runs out we will cease to exist. Meanwhile, the non-living, non-dead drama continues to unfold. It is. It simply is. Everything is recycled and nothing is wasted, until we reach the late hominid phase, the clean and comfy phase. A filthy fossil energy we have wrought on this dream, a blanket chemical response to specific pests. The stoichiometric self-destruction unleashed by a hunger for profit and a need to be “clean”. We stagnate on a tiny island of disharmony, surrounded by the encroaching hordes of bacteria. The brain-stem is poised like a preying mantis; ready to worry and froth and escape or lash out against its fellow inmates on the island. Capitalism- population is the dynamic evil-ignorant root of the problem. The words “evil” and “ignorant” are words made up by the vocal hominids to define special qualities of themselves. It is a small world, they say. Make hay while the sun shines, they say. They say a lot of things, and are very intelligent and selfish. The island has now expanded to cover a greater area than the functioning region. This constitutes a macro-dysfunction, a billboard on a Godless highway, a vessel deeper than the oceans and taller than the atmosphere, bearing the skull and crossbones on its label. Don’t look up. Don’t look down. Just look straight ahead, America. At the TV.
The purple skies and blazing orange Mars-scapes of the desert. A turquoise wave, curling into white water across a coral reef. Steaming rainforests, where a mouse may travel a thousand miles through the overflowing canopy. Photoplanktonic operas, featuring chlorella, fragilaria, asterionella and synura, pulsating, jetting and spinning invisibly in a silent pond. In a narrowly averted silent spring. It is real.
I have more respect for kangaroo faeces than I have for George Bush. Bury me like garbage and give my shoes to the wild horses. Their feet must be killing them.