Although I feel a closeness to nature in the place that I live, I recognise that I live in an anthropomorphic construct of the natural world. Our previously bare domestic garden is increasingly made up of intentional revegetation. However, this is composed of a significantly disproportionate mix of indigenous and non indigenous species, of naturally random, arbitrary and planned placement of plants and spaces. Our decision making always seems to find a way to more suit human than wildlife visitation.
The wider rural countryside is much the same. Despite being comprised of grasses, shrubs, trees, water and wildlife, this is a man made place. The dominant grasslands are introduced crops and pasture, extensive and controlled. Amongst the shrubs and trees exotics are commonplace whether in a garden or in the bush. The creeks support nothing like the biodiversity they once did and across the landscape quality indigenous habitat is scarce. Any natural world remnants are fragmented and disconnected, degraded and infiltrated. This place has been radically modified by the imposition of a consumption focussed cultural model, where everything must serve a human oriented purpose.
In the tiniest instance of natural world history, narrow human interest has either directly destroyed or undermined millennia after millennia of interdependent natural world systems development. Ironically, this continuing single mindedness may well be our own undoing. Regardless of how obvious this fact should be, it remains subject to debate because of human arrogance and our incapacity to respond to science, to recorded history, or learn from our mistakes.
Science and recorded history tell us that just 250 years ago Australia hosted a richer natural world where waterways, landscapes and the sky were full of the noises and business of bush life. Today we consider a terraformed garden space that might just support a small range of wildlife part of this natural world. It is not, by its very nature it is a construct, better than other forms of obliterating built environment, but a construct nonetheless. Without a doubt, humans will choose to retain their gardens for productive use and against the uncontrolled threat of the wild
Gardens are necessary for function and pleasure. However, extensive rewilding is the only scalable answer to imminent ecosystems collapse. Unless we restore declining biodiversity, consequent collapsing food chains and the checks and balances of natural world systems interdependence, we will lose everything.