Acknowledging that ecosystems are in constant flux doesn’t mean all change is good. But it does change our conception of what’s at stake. It’s not about preserving a biological moment in a specific locale. It’s about saving species.
Sure, protecting current locale-based biological communities is a worthy cause, but it’s not the only cause. The bottom line is to protect species and create robust habitats for species to thrive.
The history of the biosphere is a history of ecosystem upheaval. Granted, humans have accelerated disruptive processes. But we can't turn back the clock - even if we disappeared from the planet today, ecosystems and species aren't going to magically reconstitute themselves. In nature as in human society, nothing stays the same.
All we can do is try to manage the disruption so that life continues. For me, that means thinking about how to maintain the reproductive viability of the flora, fauna and microbial life forms we’ve got now – without any precondition that they’ve got to stay put. Species have rarely stayed put unless natural boundaries prevented their migration.
Why should natural boundaries have the last word?