It seems like a nice idea, and as far as my imagination's concerned, a revival of Australia's prehistoric interior rainforests would be a dream come true, but we will never be able to restore all the species that were wiped out along with those forests - they're gone forever. Even if we could deal with human damage, and replace
the type of ecosystem lost when Aborigines arrived and started hunting and burning (not to mention the effects of later migrations), we're never going to be able to restore things to their original state, to undo
what's happened - and at this stage, in the futile attempt to do so, we'd be signing a death warrant for those species that have adapted to the desert environment. We should be doing our utmost to wipe out recently introduced species, but beyond that, it's far from feasible - and if we do seriously attempt such a project at some stage, the first step would still be to wipe out those species, which is proving difficult enough as it is - right now, I don't think there's any sense in seriously considering anything more. That said, I think the first step in such a grand project would be to gradually plant trees in towards the desert, which would mean planting them out from forested areas, which would mean sacrificing what little arable land we have to an attempt at manipulating the environment, which likely won't achieve the desired ends.
The fact is, though, that most of this would be trying to negate not only human impact, but millions of years of natural changes. You'd be fighting against the morphology and position of the continent, as well as global weather patterns and likely a number of other factors, too. I really can't see it happening outside of fiction - by the way, if anybody knows any good writing on the topic (of Australia's ancient rainforests, of such an environment never having been lost, of such an environment being restored, etc.), I'd be very interested in it.
Natural Influences Human Influences
edited 15th Dec '11 11:33:08 PM by ekuseruekuseru