Rewilding: water offers a fresh start against the Destructors

As the relentless pollution and destruction of our world continues, a few sensible people are calling for a new way to save all our lives. Rewilding. They want to turn about 30% of the world’s land surface back to wild habitats like moorlands and forests.[1] The case for it is overwhelming, scientifically, as Helen Briggs and Victoria Gill explain for the BBC. But since when did the world run on science? Anyway, 30% is an immense target. Imagine the resistance the Destructors will put up in their various well funded news outlets and think tanks. But dare we, gentle readers venture a possible way ahead, despite the self-evident immensity of the task?

First, we thought, you have to make a start somewhere, as slow small change is going to be easier to achieve. And it also crossed our minds that not all the land surfaces of the world are equal. Not biologically, anyway. Now, surface liquid freshwater, which is basically lakes ponds and everything else that looks a bit like them, is only about 1% of the planet’s surface. [2] And this amount is only 1.2% of available fresh water, most of which is locked up in places like glaciers and permafrost[3] Yet this tiny fraction is home to 10% of all animal species and 40% of all fish. Ecologically speaking, that’s about as rich as you get. And you can drink it, even in cocktails.

We’ve written before in these humble pages about the immense levels of pollution in England’s rivers and streams. That’s not Anglocentric by the way, as England is pretty representative of many middling sized countries with middling sized economies Recently, the effort to clean them up ( equals: rewild them) is starting to gain here. A success would bring immeasurable benefits in human health, carbon capture, and sustainable resources. It would get even better if it could be extended out into the catchment areas and aquifers which supply the rivers. Above all, it would demonstrate that something can be achieved, with demonstrable benefits. When you’re up against it, try a fresh start. A fresh water start.

[1]https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63955526

[2]https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/freshwater-systems

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_distribution_on_Earth

#destructors #fresh water #rewilding #carbon capture #pollution #drinking water

2 thoughts on “Rewilding: water offers a fresh start against the Destructors

  1. No doubt you have mentioned it before on these pages, but the Rewilding project at Knepp Castle near Horsham (https://knepp.co.uk/) gives an insight into what farms could perhaps look like in the future. Providing a platform for bio-diversity and production of food, it abandons intensive farming for less productive but more environmentally friendly species and seems to strike a happy medium between the two extremes. The book “Rewilding” by Isobella Tree is worth a read anyway, although it is a bit preachy at times.

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  2. Thanks for the comment. We have encountered the Knepp Estate before on the course of other work outside this blog, and they are doing great work. But we shouldn’t forget that they are surrounded by housing developers who are avid to coat the countryside in acres of concrete and brick, futher reducing the planet’s supply of oxygen

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