Summary Of Rambunctious Garden

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Rambunctious Garden Critical Book Review Emma Marris opens Rambunctious Garden by dedicating the book to her mother for sending her to Audubon Day Camp. Though her statement is unexplained, Marris seems to reference how she began to care about nature. In his A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold wrote about how direct interactions with nature can lead one to care about the land, to develop a land ethic (Leopold 223-225). Audubon Camp was how Marris developed her land ethic. Though this information may seem superficial, Marris writes her books with this formative experience in her background. She approaches protecting nature partially as a concerned citizen who cares about the land. Today, Marris is an environmental journalist who writes on ecology …show more content…
Overall, she aims to radically change the way the public and scientists alike view nature, making a case for the world as a “rambunctious garden” which is partially wild but also under some human management. This approach to nature, particularly the concept of novel and designer ecosystems, is radical in the field of restoration ecology. Currently, as articulated in foundational documents like the SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration, the goal of ecological restoration is returning an ecosystem to the state of a historical reference. Novel ecosystems completely discard the idea of references, essentially abandoning the “restoration” aspect of restoration ecology. “Restoration” implies a return to an ideal state and novel ecosystems reject this premise. Thus, Rambunctious Garden has an ambitious intent. However, even though Marris convincingly argues for an end to the myth of pristine wilderness and for an expanded role of nature in urban areas, the case for her rambunctious garden falls short because of her overall acceptance of and commitment to novel and designer …show more content…
Marris does this by delving into some key aspects of the new age of ecological restoration: Pleistocene rewilding, assisted migration, exotic species, novel ecosystems, and designer ecosystems. Her chapters on all of these topics have the same strengths and weaknesses. While Marris presents both sides of the debates surrounding these subjects, she focuses heavily on the experiences of the side she most agrees with, naturally, as she makes an argument with this book and does not just summarize scientific material. Additionally, in response to detractors of these techniques, she primarily refers to two reasons why less conventional methods need to be utilized. First, Marris explains that these new ideas are already a given new reality. For example, novel ecosystems exist in places like Puerto Rico and the forestry industry already engages in assisted migration. In this way, she conflates what is happening with what ought to be happening. Second, she argues that the threat of climate change is a reason to embrace more radical techniques since the whole world heads for ecological ruin and something should be done to prevent this. Of course, Marris never uses this aggressive of language herself, but the undercurrent of climate change runs strongly through her work. Another constant through her

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