What if we left nature to her own devices for five years? I am talking about no construction work, no felling CO2-absorbing trees, or releasing extra carbon and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and no pesticide use, etc., a complete human standstill. Fields and lazy meadows would overgrow with myriad-hued wildflowers and grasses in the hazy morning sunshine. Tall, healthy trees would flourish with verdant foliage’s, and foamy seas would elegantly roll onto clean sandy beaches. Twinkling star constellations and planets would vividly show up in velvety space and during the day the bluest of blue skies in centuries.
When I was a little boy, I lived on the outskirts of London. I voraciously explored a garden and, on its patio, played with red ants, earwigs, stag beetles, spiders, and many other insects. I remember alien-green caterpillars and pesky greenfly nibbling cabbage leaves and a furry caterpillar tickling me as it curled in a ball in the palm of my hand. I chased grasshoppers and butterflies, and as clouds painted themselves black, flying storm ants appeared from nowhere. I often observed the spotted chest of a song thrush, a linnet, a tiny wren, summer swallows, and a rodent scouting kestrel’s wings flickering in the sunlight.
Recently I strolled over meadows and wheat fields. My hungry eyes scorched the earth for invertebrates, field mice, voles, or other animals. On the riverbank, I wondered could I espy a swimming water rat, sunbathing lizard, kingfisher, or industrious otters. To my sad dismay, I saw not one of God’s creatures. With all its quirks and colours, our gorgeous wildlife is rapidly diminishing; how I would love to see the results of a five-year curfew on man’s destructive ways. But of course, that is, a what if?