The term biophilia literally means 'love of life or living systems' and has been used by Edward O. Wilson, the father of sociobiology and a professor of entomology at Harvard University, to describe the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.
We haven't always lived in urban environments. We were wild once. And that wild instinct is buried deep within us, resurfacing every time we immerse ourselves in the wildness of the natural world.
The reality is that most of us now live in cities and are immersed in urban life. We have created unique environments for ourselves, with elaborate networks of roads and highways weaving between buildings and winding through landscapes. We have had such an influence on the structure of the environment that the vast expanse of cities and towns can be seen from space. There are few areas left on the planet where the mark of
Homo sapiens urbanus
is not evident, which means that there is little left of the wilderness that once was.
The population of human beings on this planet is expected to reach 7 billion in the next few weeks. The next most numerous large mammal is the crab-eater seal in Antarctica, numbering 22 million. The human race is growing rapidly, and in order to sustain such growth we need resources and living space. Urban expansion is on the rise, particularly in China, the fastest developing country in the world, which houses 20% of the world's population.
A question I often ask myself in this time of rapid growth and urban expansion is 'where are the last wilderness areas going?'. How much will be left in 10, 20 or 50 years time? It is essential to constantly remind ourselves of the importance of the natural world and the role it plays in our lives, whether for sustenance or inspiration.
My experience of Marion Island thus far has been surreal and I am trying my best to share it with all of you back home so that you may also bask in its beauty. This is a short 'trailer' for the documentary I am hoping to produce, which will explore this beautifully wild place whilst delving into the concept of wilderness and its involvement in our lives. Enjoy.