You know the natural world is in trouble when the leading scientist of the Nature Conservancy, Peter Kareiva, says, "instead of pursing the protection of biodiversity for biodiversity's sake, a new conservation should seek to enhance those natural systems that benefit the widest number of people." What?
"What do we value about the Amazon forest? Do people seek to protect it because they believe it is 'pristine' and 'pre-human'? Clearly not, since it's inhabited and harvested by large numbers of tribal people, some of whom have been there for millennia. The Amazon is not important because it is untouched; it's important because it is wild, in the sense that it is self-willed. Humans live in and from it, but it is not created or controlled by them. It teems with a great, shifting, complex diversity of both human and nonhuman life, and no species dominates the mix. It is a complex, working ecosystem which is also a human-culture system, because in any kind of worthwhile world, the two are linked." - Keeping the Wild