PAWcast: Paul Wapner *91 on Reviving Connections to the Natural World (May 2020)

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Most people in the developed world can control the amount of wildness in their daily lives by simply shutting the door and adjusting the thermostat. But the COVID-19 outbreak has reminded us that the uncertainty and discomfort of the biological world is never completely locked away. Limiting our interactions with the nature has consequences, according to professor and author Paul Wapner *91, including a tendency to “put the burden of our comfort … onto the lives of those who are less fortunate.” The use of fossil fuels and destruction of natural habitats has also increased wildness in a global sense through climate change and extinction, and bold scientific interventions aimed at curbing those threats could push us further from the natural world. In his new book, Is Wildness Over?, Wapner advocates for a different path: “re-wilding.” (Photo by Sylvia Renick)

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