Should conservationists fight for the past or the future?

An excellent essay has just appeared in Ensia magazine, summarizing one of the most heated debates in conservation strategy in many years. 

The gist of the debate is whether conservationists should continue striving to protect nature, as we've traditionally done, or face a hard new reality--that so many profound changes are afoot and coming soon that we should give up, in a sense, and roll with the punches.

In other words, forget about 'protecting' the Amazon.  Instead, concede that the Amazon will surely be developed and so work to shape the coming development in a less harmful direction.

E. O. Wilson says it is 'raising the white flag'.  Others, such as Peter Kareiva, say it is merely facing the future.

It's a debate that will continue to polarize many in the conservation community. 

Fight for nature or roll with the punches?  

Fight for nature or roll with the punches?