For many the wilderness stands for the last place where human disease has not fully infected the earth. Edward O. Wilson's "Is Humanity Suicidal?- and William Cronon's "The Trouble with Wilderness,"" are two essays that address the changing environment and what is to be expected in the future. Three main points in these essays are the effects of human values on the environment, the effects of overpopulation on the Earth, and the rules of biology in contrast to the preservation of the wilderness. .
Wilson is concerned with the effect of human values on the environment. Because of human selfishness, Wilson believes we are endangering ourselves. Humans live to better themselves and hardly ever take time to help others. Wilson says, "Individuals place themselves first, family second, tribe third and the rest of the world a distant fourth- (502). So often we fret over things that are unimportant and fail to recognize at any moment, a natural disaster may occur. In addition, the human species "are tribal and aggressively territorial [ ]- (502). Because of our lack of self-control, we often find cooperation in the family to come uneasily. .
Like Wilson, Cronon is also concerned with the effect of human values on the environment. Cronon says, "As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is nature when in fact we see the rejection of our own longings and desires- (559-560). Environmentalists are uncertain of what too considered "nature- because we often see ourselves as part of the wilderness. Because of our ignorance, we hardly ever take the time to view nature's beauty and realize that there is something "Other than yourself- (560). Peace of mind can be found if we look beyond ourselves by opening up and enjoying what nature has to offer. .
Wilson feels that overpopulation is causing a dramatic change on Earth. Within the past fifty years, the population has doubled to 5.