How long can this freedom last?
For hundreds of years, humans have been putting Nature on quarantine: confining all other species into ever dwindling habitats, while keeping for themselves the best bits: taking over sensitive coastline ecosystems to enjoy watersports, building cities on rich, luscious river deltas and choking them with pollution and garbage, or cutting down rainforests and sending any life form that can walk or fly, into a hasty retreat.
Not only have we been confining nature into its own isolated, disconnected concentration camps, we have also been exterminating it. Humans are the Hitlers of the planet, having converted this celestial body into a massive Auschwitz where the 6th Mass Extinction is gathering pace.
No evidence of this is more compelling than the simple fact that today, sadly, some of the most biodiverse places on Earth are those that have simply been left alone, despite being some of the least hospitable to life: rugged, self-isolating mountain tops. Light- quarantined deep ocean trenches. Arctic waters on freeze restrictions, and pristine tundras on permafrost lockdown. Nature learned long ago that in order to survive and thrive, it had to find habitats where it could self-isolate from the human virus. And it did this consciously. Animals have been consciously avoiding humans.
We know this because of the remarkable events taking place over the past month. Turtles are showing up to lay their eggs in beaches they have been absent from in hundreds of years, thanks to the absence of humans. Penguins are taking casual strolls down Cape Town in South Africa, window shopping in the empty main street. Wild goats are discovering their inner foodie, sampling exotic flowers and garden plants as they forage their way through Welsh villages. They all know, something has changed. The quarantine is over. But for how long?
to be continued…