Wild experiments: Rethinking environmentalism for the Anthropocene
The diagnosis of the Anthropocene would seem to mark a public end to the idea of Nature as a pure place removed from society and revealed by natural science. This problematic idea has been central to wildlife conservation and Western environmentalism more generally. This lecture evaluates new forms of environmentalism that need not make recourse to Nature. It focuses on recent enthusiasms for ‘rewilding’ in European conservation and an example of a ‘wild experiment’ in conservation at the Oostvaardersplassen – a polder landscape in the Netherlands. Examining the multiple natures that feature in this story, tracing the emergence of a novel mode of ‘nature development’ that aims to nurture ecological processes in manufactured landscapes.
Jamie Lorimer is Associate Professor in Human Geography at University of Oxford.