“The myth of the wilderness as ‘virgin,’ uninhabited land had always been especially cruel when seen from the perspective of the Indians who had once called that land home,” the environmental historian William Cronon has observed.
“In truth, ‘Wilderness’ is a state of mind and heart” is how photographer Ansel Adams once put it. “Very little exists now in actuality.”
Today even the most remote wilderness areas, like the Bering Sea Wilderness off Alaska or the Innoko Wilderness in the state’s interior, are being dramatically altered by the grand geophysical experiment that humans are conducting. Sea ice is disappearing, permafrost is thawing, and woody plants are invading the tundra, all thanks to global warming. The impossibility of escaping human influence, even in those few parts of the globe that people have never inhabited, has led some scientists to propose that we are living in a new geologic epoch, the Anthropocene.
In the age of man the Wilderness Act may seem futile—but it has arguably become more important. Designating land as wilderness represents an act of humility. It acknowledges that the world still transcends our comprehension, and its value, the use we can make of it."
Following a dry and milder weekend, the threat for showers returns to Munich this week as Oktoberfest continues.
Some of the cooler and less humid air en route to the Midwest and Northeast will reach part of the southern United States later this week.
Emergency officials in Puerto Rico continue to monitor the damaged Guajataca Dam located in the northwestern part of the island.
Maine's lobster industry is thriving and hopeful, although potential environmental changes are pushing regulators to explore adaptation strategies.
Thousands of people have been evacuated from their homes on the Indonesian island of Bali due to fears of Mount Agung potentially erupting.
Tropical Depression Pilar is expected to raise the risk for flooding downpours across western Mexico into Tuesday.
A cold front will spread needed rainfall across drought-stricken parts of eastern Australia during the middle of the week.
Heavy thunderstorms and moisture from Pilar will cluster around western and central Texas this week, threatening to trigger flooding and travel disruptions.