Myth 11: Wilderness is a romantic, escapist retreat

Myth: Wilderness is a ‘flight from history’, a Romantic, escapist retreat (Cronon 1996)

Truth: Wilderness can be a retreat from the pressures of modern society, and this is a positive not a negative thing. If we consider the Australian environmental history of the last 215 years to be the clearing of half of the native vegetation and the fragmenting of the rest, then perhaps we need to confront history and change this trend? Postmodernists also deride Romanticism, however Oelschlaeger (1991) shows that this was in fact the first philosophical movement to react against the excessive modern exploitation of natural areas.