In reading Coates Nature, although dense I found some points really interesting in the book, that I’ll mark below. We as people tend to see ourselves as part of “nature”, however in a way we remain seperate from it, most likely mentally however this distaches us in a way from nature.
Coates says a couple things in the first chapters, that I either hope to challenge in class, or just want people to take note of for their significance.
page 9: Humanity did not create the natural world, but we did create the idea of nature.
page 10: We view nature the way we are taught to view nature, and thus through our anticipations of it. It is impossible to perfectly define and measure nature without some degree of ethnocentrism. Anthropocentric views gave us (what we view as) ‘authority’ over nature. This is one of my favorites.
page 11:Part of humanity’s separation from nature involves the creation of the perspective of nature as a ruthless, intensifying force that threatens the ever expanding population.
here i think its important to ask, if our population increase is really “nature’s” doing?
Coates also mentions here how no culture has existed without evironmental changes and challenges.
page 14: Environmentalism and environmental protection as we know it did not exist together before 1945.
page 16: We have not altered the earth’s surface to separate ourselves from nature, but simply the population increased and means of destruction became more powerful.
Western world and nature: I think it’s important that we take note of the role the Western world had over nature, Or hoped to have, as they saw it as inferior to them, wanting to have control over it. What does Coates say about this being how we lost nature?
page 48: Christianity in the Middle Ages viewed nature as something less than divinity.
The role of the Industrial Revolution… has led people to pronounce it the watershed between today’s impoverished world and the nature we have lost.
page 69: The Reformation brought little or no respect to the gain of nature.
Gaia- the godess of Earth. Mother Nature according to Greek Mythology