The Once and Future World

The Once and Future World

Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be

By J. B. MacKinnon

Houghton Mifflin, Hardcover, 9780544103054, 232pp.

Publication Date: September 24, 2013

An award-winning ecology writer goes looking for the wilderness we ve forgotten
Many people believe that only an ecological catastrophe will change humanity's troubled relationship with the natural world. In fact, as J.B. MacKinnon argues in this unorthodox look at the disappearing wilderness, we are living in the midst of a disaster thousands of years in the making and we hardly notice it. We have forgotten what nature can be and adapted to a diminished world of our own making.
In "The Once and Future World," MacKinnon invites us to remember nature as it was, to reconnect to nature in a meaningful way, and to remake a wilder world everywhere. He goes looking for landscapes untouched by human hands. He revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and ten times more whales swim in the sea. He shows us that the vestiges of lost nature surround us every day: buy an avocado at the grocery store and you have a seed designed to pass through the digestive tracts of huge animals that have been driven extinct.
"The Once and Future World" is a call for an age of rewilding, from planting milkweed for butterflies in our own backyards to restoring animal migration routes that span entire continents. We choose the natural world that we live in a choice that also decides the kind of people we are.

About the Author
Journalist and authorJ.B. MACKINNONcoined the term "the 100 Mile Diet," and his book Plenty is widely considered a catalyst of the local foods movement. His essays on natural history have appeared in Orion, Reader's Digest, and other magazines. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.