Nature Part II

I found the second half of Nature more interesting and thought provoking than the first. I think a big part of this had to do with the examination of perspective that Coates provided through various examples and the people he referenced. I think Ronald Hepburn analysis that we all perceive and evaluate natural objects and objects of art differently is a testament to what the first part of this section was about. He went on to describe that when viewing art there is often a sense of detachment that is not present when experiencing it. Hepburn also mentions that nature involves immersion that reminded me of learning languages and how immersion is one of the best ways to quickly and effectively learn a non-native language. That connection, to me at least, speaks to nature being this intrinsic thing that we could possibly get by without but the very essence of it, just like the essence of language – communication- will always need to be part of our everyday lives. Hepburn also mentions that nature offers a greater possibility for imagination because it was not created deliberately. I think this refers to the fact that nature is not a construction of human want or will.

Later on in the second part when Coates is discussing the future of nature he brings up a point that is relevant to this idea of human made things. This means that the hole we have created and expanded in the ozone layer falls into this category of man made things. Not only is that artificial but we have begun to alter the weather, making the rest of the planet almost artificial as well because it is affected by something that we have altered. Even plants can obtain patents, which in 1980 was ruled on by the Supreme Court, voting in favor of corporations that the genetically engineered plants are technically “products of human invention rather than of nature”

Overall, I think Coates made good use of the second half of this book. From pointing out that nature, like many things, is interpreted differently by different people such as the English seeing it as a pleasant countryside and Americans seeing it as wilderness, that no one is necessarily wrong. However he does wrap up the book with a kind of apocalyptic ideology and his writing is laced with phrases like: human corruption, nature’s death, population growth as the source of nature’s problems.

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