You're reading

Can humans really make the world better?


A defining trait of the human species has been our tendency to shape our environment and surroundings to suit us. As our technological prowess has increased, so has our ability to transform landscapes and the planet.

Today we can divert entire rivers, reclaim land from the oceans, chop down swathes of forest, level mountainsides and build new ones as we constantly seek to improve the physical world around us.

You might also like:

The animals that will survive climate change
What if artificial intelligence develops a soul
How can design save the world

But it has also become clear that our actions are taking a toll on the health of our planet, in the guise of climate change, the destruction of habitats, the loss of species and pollution.

This has led some to search for ways of turning our ingenuity to the benefit of the planet. Attempts to resurrect species that have gone extinct or use gene-editing technologies to create artificial life are examples of this.

But artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg questions whether this is the right thing to do. In an interview with BBC Future at the Dezeen Day 2019, she asks whether we risk losing even more if we focus on trying to make the world “better” rather than simply protecting what remains of the natural world.

Watch the video above to learn more.

This video is part of BBC Reel’s Forward Thinking playlist.


Join one million Future fans by liking us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter or Instagram.

If you liked this story, sign up for the weekly bbc.com features newsletter, called “The Essential List”. A handpicked selection of stories from BBC Future, Culture, Worklife, and Travel, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Around the BBC