I was going to start out with the quote from Ronald Hepburn talking about the valuation of nature and how, unlike art, nature is frameless and almost limitless but at least two other people started their posts with this quote. I do like this quote very much and this first part of chapter 6 is a bit existential but is still pretty interesting. The way that he talks about the word and the idea of the word scenery is pretty interesting. People think of scenery as a term in tune with nature when there are many more man-made sceneries that people still think to be ‘natural.’
This is an example of a man-made scenery, it is an artificial lake and it is only kept looking beautiful through donations from the community.
I also really enjoyed the part of chapter 6, starting on page 114 that talked about the earliest designation of lands. This relates to my project because the kings of medieval Europe designating chunks of land so they could hunt on them is the earliest precursor of things like Ducks Unlimited. While developing or hunting on land owned by Ducks Unlimited is not punishable by death the theory is pretty much the same. The nobility of the time saw that as their countries grew there was less and less land that could be set aside as wilderness for leisure activities and to combat this they created these firs nature reserves.
The next passage that caught my eye was about the romanticism related to nature. We have discussed the idea that nature represents an untamed wilderness and a place of fear yet despite this common belief many writers, musicians, poets, etc., have always romanticized about nature and that this has led to many reforms and other things of this nature, no pun intended, to protect natural things. An example of this would be the response of the American public and government to the Book Silent Spring and all of the good changes that came out of a person writing a book that foretold of a place without birds.
Chapter 8 went into exhaustive detail about several movements in Britain as they emerged as the major world power around the end of the 19th century. This was pretty hard to read but one thing that I did find pretty interesting is that that social justice environmentalists are most interested in preventing what is called ‘environmental racism.’ This racism happens when the placement of environmentally hazardous facilities such as power plants or sewage treatment plants in lower income areas. When this occurs the poor always get the short end of the stick. This map shows the sites of nuclear power plants in the US.
The final point that stuck with me is in the final chapter on page 184 when he talks about how the greatest threat to the green movement might be postmodernism. Thinking of nature as a solid thing instead of a living, breathing thing that needs to be cared for might lead to the destruction of nature. This can include the seemingly endless fight for the resources of the world as companies think not about the nature but only about profit margins and things like this. I agree with this totally. I am also really glad that we are done with this tedious little book. Good Riddance Nature!
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A blog for Geography 360:
Ohio Wesleyan University