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Learning to leave nature alone

The seductive appeal of abandoned places

By Michael Delgado   March 2021
Experiments in re-wilding

Experiments in re-wilding

What is the solution to the climate crisis? For nature writer and Prospect columnist Cal Flyn, it’s rewilding: humans stepping back and leaving nature to its own devices. As farming becomes more efficient, birth rates in the developed world decline and more people move from the countryside to the city (at least before Covid-19), we find ourselves “in the midst,” she writes, “of a huge, self-directed experiment in rewilding.”

In Islands of Abandonment, Flyn travels to places that have been deserted by humans—in other words, forcibly rewilded—to examine how nature is regenerating in remarkable ways. She visits the…

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