This summer, the Smoky Mountains burned, writes Grant A. Mincy. The aftermath is terrible to behold. But with the autumn rains and winter snow, life is returning, and a new cycle of regeneration is under way. Once again we witness the beating heart of the forest: water travels the vascular tissue of the trees and transpires over the valley and ridge. The wilderness is breathing.
The destruction of the world's wilderness is accelerating with a new clutch of mega projects from dams, roads and mines to large scale agriculture, write James Watson, Bill Laurance, Brendan Mackey & James Allan. It's cost-effective to put a stop to it right now for the carbon value of wilderness alone - never mind the biodiversity and indigenous peoples it safeguards.
The joy of the wild is rooted deep in the human spirit and without it our lives are starved of a vital nutrient, writes Grant A. Mincy. Only through experience of wilderness and its untamed beauty can we be truly human, and only in wilderness can we open our awareness of the perilous wonder of being, and know the freedom that lies within us all.
Russia’s zapovedniks are some of the world’s most pristine wildernesses. For 70 years they were protected ruthlessly by the Soviet system, but recently they have fallen prey to Putin, the World Bank and ecotourists. Paul Webster reports on their plight