In the continuous process of striving for better technologies, which requires the use of valuable resources, humanity seems to have forgotten one crucial thing: if it continues to exploit nature’s gifts and destroy wilderness, there will be no future for animals, people, and the whole planet. Many literary and video works are dedicated to the problem of preserving the environment and its treasures. In his “Wilderness Letter,” Wallace Stegner remarks that if humanity allows the remaining wilderness to be wiped out, “something important will have gone out of us as a people.”
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By saying so, Stegner means that those who do not think of keeping the wilderness intact do not have the qualities that would allow characterizing them as people: they have no sympathy or compassion, and they do not understand that the man is only a part of the ecosystem but not its only member.
Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff” is closely related to Stegner’s idea of protecting the wilderness since in her movie, Leonard discusses the dramatic outcomes of people’s activity on extracting resources performing which they neglect the needs of indigenous people and animals. The speaker mentions that the system by which people live is “the system in crisis” (Leonard). The crisis is manifested in the fact that “we live in a linear system on a finite planet,” and it is not possible to live under such conditions “indefinitely” (Leonard). The problem with such a structure, as Leonard remarks, is that there are limits to everything, but people fail to see them.
Stegner writes that “the wilderness idea… is a resource in itself.” Leonard supports this argument by emphasizing that extraction is “a fancy word for “natural resource exploitation,” which is a fancy word for “trashing the planet”.” Thus, both the letters and the video’s authors are alarmed about the scarcity of resources due to people’s destructive activity aimed at the wilderness. Both the writer and the speaker think that the issue of protecting the last wild places is of utmost importance.
The video by Monbiot demonstrates how the wild area can be protected and developed under wise supervision. In his video, Monbiot shows how the Yellowstone National Park’s territories and animals were saved when wolves were brought back there. If Stegner could watch this video, he would be happy to see that there are people who support his ideas and cherish the environment. Monbiot mentions that one of the most important discoveries made over the past fifty years has been the discovery of “widespread trophic cascades,” which are complicated ecological processes determining the connections between different levels of ecosystems.
In his video, Monbiot tells an exciting story of how the “reintroduction” of wolves in the Yellowstone National Park, which led to a series of positive changes in this area. As the speaker notes, everybody knows that “wolves kill various species of animals,” but people are less aware of the fact that “they give life to many others” (Monbiot). Stegner would be excited to hear this story since his idea of preserving wilderness also includes taking care of rare species and areas. A lesson that can be made from the text and two videos is that people should stop thinking only about their comfort and should start thinking about the future because there is a risk of losing everything with such an attitude.