Joking that he felt like an old-time hell-fire preacher speaking from the pulpit of Hope Baptist Church, George Monbiot instead brought a vision of hope to the packed audience yesterday at Hebden Bridge Arts Festival.
Launching a national rewilding group – [ now launched, one year on] – he extolled the delights of an environment where biodiverse plants, insects and animals flourish thanks to the reintroduction of keystone species at the top of the food chain – such as beavers, pine martins and wolves. Continue reading
George Monbiot’s Feral: Searching for enchantment on the frontiers of rewilding is worth dipping into – unless you are one of those bourgeois escapists whom Steven Poole’s recent Guardian Review article identified as the likely readership for this genre of nature writing. In which case, you’ll probably want to read it from cover to cover.
Going where the wild things are stops Monbiot being bored – a problem for him, given his humdrum life of raising a kid, working and paying the bills – and he wants the rest of us to experience the same thrills. He is an evangelist for rewilding, the modish conservation concept that calls for the reintroduction of top predators like wolves, bear and lynx to certain regions where they have become extinct.
Midway along his life’s path, George Monbiot found himself on a dreary moor with no track to show him the way.
Lacking a poet ghost to guide him on the necessary descent into the circles of hell, through purgatory and on to paradise, Monbiot’s new book Feral conjures an Edenic fantasy of re-forested uplands, prowled by wolves, beavers and other top predators. In his dreams, he has banished the pesky sheep and hill farmers who between them have degraded this once and future biodiverse ecosystem.