Conserving Nature in an Unnatural World
Humans have become the dominant ecological and evolutionary force on earth. Nature is being affected by humanity, be it species, genes or ecosystems. To conserve nature, humans have been developing increasingly artificial methods, creating the tension of using the unnatural to conserve nature. New genetic technologies, such as synthetic biology, have many potential applications that may change human relations to the natural world, including, replacing natural products (e.g. vanilla, ambergris) with synthetic ones, reviving extinct species, and creating powerful tools to address wicked conservation problems. Creating a future for nature will require overcoming our reluctance to use technology to save nature.