Wednesday 22 April 2009

Small World (But You Wouldn't Want to Paint It)

Here's a map that graphically demonstrates two things: how little 'wilderness' (by this definition, anywhere more than 48 hours, with good connections and a following wind, from a major city)there is, and how little space we humans take up. Nearly all of us occupy just 10 per cent of the Earth's surface (the same percentage figure as 'wilderness'). Both these facts, I think, put us in our place - great world shrinkers, but not great spreaders. The latter fact surely gives room to hope that our impact on the planet might not be as catastrophic as many fear; we humans are always, I suspect, inclined to overestimate our importance in the larger scheme of things (and town dwellers, in particular, to forget how sparsely populated much even of this overcrowded island is).
And meanwhile, across that shrinking world flies my beloved daughter, heading home after nine months in New Zealand. There will be rejoicing at Nige Towers tonight.


  1. I hope Miss Nige has had a wonderful time in NZ. I haven't been there for nearly 20 years but I do remember looking south from Stuart Island across the great southern ocean towards Antarctica and feeling very small.

  2. Oh she has Sophie - so wonderful she's planning to go back for long eough to qualify for residency (gulp)...