Poverty and ignorance are unfortunate, but affluence and ignorance is a deadly combination. The control of resources that defines wealth allows for the creation of swift and comprehensive social and environmental change. A person with a shovel can do 20 times as much work as a person with bare hands, and a person with a bulldozer or a construction company can create alterations in environment that will endure for millennia. The ability to make change on so vast a scale is accompanied by the responsibility to be educated. As members of a “developed” society, we need to understand our resource and cultural footprints and consider the implications of our projects. Everyone with discretionary income needs some basic biology, hydrology, botany and physics, simply to understand the effects of our lifestyle choices on the world community. Beginning with our food choices, and continuing through lifestyle, recreational activities and landscape (environmental) manipulation, we are all effecting massive change.
Restoration on a large scale requires our participation in informed environmental change. The cumulative effects of 200 years of unmitigated extraction, unbalanced economics and natural and human exploitation have made it impossible to expect a natural harmony to restore itself without our careful intervention.
We have many teachers and helpers around us who can be our guides in restoring the natural order. Willingness to listen and observe might be our greatest challenge. The greatest tools at our disposal are our willingness to work, our understanding and our inventiveness.