The Everglades Restoration Project has repaved many waterways of southern Florida, making unstraight the path. Mankind steps back and the untamed borders of nature have returned. A flock of ibis peck in the grass for morning niblets and a raccoon family snugs high up into a palm tree to sleep out the stifling afternoon heat and drenching storms. Most important of all, the shoreline is ragged and rough, and flourishing mangroves buffer the wake of man-made craft, still buzzing up the canal.
If we go “backwards,” how far should we go? The crabs have safe homes again, no longer pummeled by rough waves at odd intervals. But oil soils the water, and trash still meanders the lee. There is more to saving the Everglades, it seems, than just fixing the water flow.
In Taking the Risk Out of Democracy, Alex Carey asserts that the moneyed interests in the world have steered public debate in a direction that suits their business. “The question is no longer whether or not pollution should be allowed, but how much pollution is OK.” Of course, one might say, some pollution is inevitable in the course of human industry. So the question, they say is “how green should we be?”
At sunrise a friend insists “God said ‘Go forth and trash the place.'” And we have. Now it is time to pull back. Mankind must restore balance with nature, goes the mantra. What would that balance actually be? Perhaps we need to look at the world before humans existed as a major species. Only then can we balance with the rest of creation. Otherwise it is just a matter of “how much nature” will we allow.