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Protected Area Dilemmas

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This chapter looks at contradictions in protective network comparisons, rankings, and their overall place within a biosphere whose vulnerabilities continue to be exploited by one species. The dialectic at the heart of ecological paradox is unsparing. Since October 1945, when the UN was founded, the human population has soared over 300%, from approximately 2.5 billion to over 7.8 billion.

During that same period the Green Revolution came of age, spawning great faith in technology to feed humanity through more genetic hybrid innovation, more sustainable land tenure and agricultural reforms that all promise greater parity, empowerment of women, environmental justice, and sustainable land use. Instead, other paradoxes—famine amid plenty, of a parched and violent world—have cascaded. Since the mid-1980s, our species has exceeded the appropriation of 40% of all the products of photosynthesis on the planet, or NPP, net primary production. No species has ever so trespassed, throwing into confusion the very nature of globalization, given our one species’ surreal sense of superiority and accompanying dominion by force over every continent.


  • Net primary production
  • Green Revolution
  • EPA
  • US Wilderness Act
  • Gross national happiness
  • Bhutan
  • John Ruskin
  • George Kennan

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-64526-7_4
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Tobias, M.C., Morrison, J.G. (2021). Protected Area Dilemmas. In: On the Nature of Ecological Paradox. Springer, Cham.

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