Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

IS WILDNESS OVER? by Paul Wapner book review

  • Written by  Olivia Edward
  • Published in Books
IS WILDNESS OVER? by Paul Wapner book review
19 Mar
2020
by Paul Wapner • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)

We can’t seem to stop can we? We’ve known about the climate crisis for some time but still our behaviours remain largely unchanged. Global climate emissions have doubled from what they were in 1992; sales of SUVs outstripped electric vehicles by 37 to 1 last year and even organic vegetables come wrapped in ever-more layers of plastic. Somewhere there’s this feeling that the Earth can’t be in that much trouble when life still feels so comfortable, so cosy, so safe. There are still nice new sofas, air-conditioned cars, helpful tech and warm showers.

Get Geographical delivered to your door!
signup buttonAs we brace ourselves on our personal islands, it can be hard to picture the processes of the planet continuing to whir. Marooned in our homes, it’s vital that we stay positive, motivated and informed. Geographical is committed to helping you explore the world from the comfort of your sofa. Get the world delivered to your door, with Geographical.

Subscribe today to Geographical’s monthly print and digital magazine and save 30% off the cover price! 

But, that, argues Wapner is precisely the problem. Wildness, he believes, is an irrepressible force. Banish it from our day-to-day existence and it doesn’t just disappear, it’s simply displaced. ‘Wildness is far from being over,’ he writes. ‘If anything, it has merely taken on a new face. Today unpredictability, instead of inconveniencing people’s everyday lives, plagues the Earth as a whole.

After centuries of being beaten down, the feral has re-emerged – only this time across the planet and on steroids.’ Climate change is part of this new global-scale wildness – ‘a type... not only more ferocious but ultimately more extensive and terrifying owing to the concentrated and accumulated dynamics involved.’

So, what to do? Absorb some of the wildness back within ourselves suggests Wapner. Embrace discomfort. Accept that we might be colder in winter, even inside our apartments; risk more encounters with strangers by taking public transport; take fewer, shorter showers. It’s not the answer to climate change he concedes, it’s a response. But there are no answers. It’s all about mitigation now. We’ve woken the giant, believes Wapner. Enraged Gaia. A mighty reckoning is coming and it’s about walking through that dark valley with as much respect and kindness to the planet – and every being who calls it home – as we can muster.

Stay connected with the Geographical newsletter!
signup buttonSince its inception in 1935, Geographical has reported on many thousands of global issues, allowing readers to look past the boundaries and borders of our world and take a broader perspective. In these turbulent times, we’re still committed to telling expansive stories from across the globe, highlighting the everyday lives of normal but extraordinary people. Stay informed and engaged with Geographical.

Get Geographical’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox every Friday!

Julysub 2020

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Books

by Stefano Mancuso • Other Press • £19.49 (hardback)

Books

by Ben Buchanan • Harvard University Press • £22.95 (hardback)

Books

By Valerie Trouet • Johns Hopkins University Press • £20.00…

Books

Geographical's contributing geographers share their top books for 'staying connected'…

Books

by Chris Goodall • Profile Books • £9.99 (hardback)

Books

by Richard Smyth • Uniform Books • £12.00 (paperback)

Books

by Mark Jaccard • Cambridge University Press • £12.00 (paperback)

Books

by James Crowden • William Collins • £12.00 (hardback)

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Films

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is a yearly cinematic treasure…

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Books

by Paul Wapner • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)