The Pros And Cons Of Environmental Restoration

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What is environmental restoration? “To restore disturbed land is to return it to its “original” condition prior to damage or disturbance by human beings” (Pitcher and Welchman, 260). In society’s modern day decisions and environmental ethics, the term restoration is used ubiquitously. Perhaps restoration gets confused with other preservation approaches noted and distinguished by Pitcher and Welchman as reclamation and rewilding. Reclamation is bringing land to a state that has equivalent use to the original state, but is not the original use. Rewinding the land removes all human aspects in attempt to remove the presence of humans and make the environment rarer and less accessible. While this definition of restoration holds the idea of fixing …show more content…
In both the restoration of wetlands without mosquitos and in the restoration of woods with only plastic trees, humans are not truly restoring the environment to it’s natural habitat at all. Rather, humans are altering the natural in a way that is more convenient to us. Both environments would now have an added artificial human touch to their nature. The two cases accomplish this on different levels of the human involvement and convenience spectrum. In case A, humans are eliminating only one aspect of the natural wetland environment. Mosquitoes are a rather large and common aspect of this ecosystem and thus have proved to be a large inconvenience for us. Continuing further down the spectrum of human involvement, in creating a woods of plastic trees, humans are essentially eliminating all living features of an environment. Real trees are homes to a plethora of animal species and also promote the growth of other plant species. So while both situations are similar in their unauthentic form of restoration, they differ in the spectrum of involvement and convenience to us. Some people might agree that it is okay to have less natural life around us. For instance, people often develop an aversion to wilderness when they have experienced the dangerous side of the wilderness. As David Schmidtz notes in his essay “Natural Enemies: An Anatomy of Environmental Conflict”, “for many who live in modern cities, nature is a haven” (Schmidtz, 220). The majority of people isolated from deep wilderness clearly identify the pleasantries of nature such as going on a peaceful hike. “Beautiful [nature] may have been, but it was not the innocuous beauty that city dwellers find in art galleries” (Schmidtz, 220). Insulation and isolation away from the dangerous and bothersome aspects of nature allows Schmidtz and a myriad of people just like him to have “the luxury of no longer needing to see

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