MY NATIONAL PARK PROJECT

The purpose of this project is twofold. I want to visit the national parks and nature reserves of Scandinavia to document their beauty and uniqueness. I also want to research and write about nature and environmental issues and hopefully inspire people to get engaged in conservation. I have come to believe that the protection and preservation of nature and ecosystems should be at the foundation of every aspect of environmentalism.

Unfortunately, these days much of the environmental movement seems to be overtaken by a somewhat one-dimensional focus on CO2 emissions. This cannot be the only metric we use to determine our future relationship with our planet. Don't get me wrong, it's an important piece of the puzzle. But the future requires a more holistic approach than a mere measurement of atmospheric gases. To make the future ecologically sustainable, we have to ensure that much more of the planets surface, both on land and at sea is left alone to do what nature does best. Sustain itself. Humanity needs nature, but nature doesn't need humanity. This ought to be a humbling fact. We have to end the short-sighted exploitational relationship with the natural world and make ecological sustainability a part of every political decision. If we can manage to rewild some of our broken lands and conserve more of the dwindling unspoiled nature in our biosphere it can absorb much of the pollution we have already put out there and inevitably will continue to put out there in the foreseeable future. It could very well be our safest bet. What other choice do we really have?

Luckily, people and governments have managed to protect some of the many special places in the world, but it is not nearly enough. We have to protect so much more to make the planet capable of withstanding the injuries we inflict on it. We have to protect so much more so that we can sustainably feed ourselves by reaping the surplus produced by unspoiled nature. We have the knowledge to do this, and we can probably all agree that it is the right thing to do. But the systems that govern our way of life seldom take this knowledge into account. We have to slowly turn the paradigm of perpetual growth and give primacy to the knowledge that much of the natural world is ultimately more valuable to us when it is left alone to function on its own terms. What other choice do we really have?

“For many generations…they obeyed the laws and loved the divine to which they were akin…they

reckoned that qualities of character were far more important than their present prosperity. So they

bore the burden of their wealth and possessions lightly, and did not let their high standard of living

intoxicate them or make them lose their self-control…

But when the divine element in them became weakened…and their human traits became

predominant, they ceased to be able to carry their prosperity with moderation.”

― Plato

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