Nature: Chapters 6-9

The concluding chapters of Peter Coates book, Nature, left me satisfied that the things I deemed needed to be brought to light, had in fact already been brought up and debated. Overall, I felt that he rapped up the history of nature and what it has meant to humans throughout our history very thoroughly, but he didn’t actually state any of his own opinions about the matter. In his last chapter he did incline to make his overall thoughts on the matter of nature a bit more present, but not explicitly.

Coates presented the finding and debates of many different topics in the concluding chapters of his book ranging from the meaning of landscape, the Romanticism’s impact on nature and how we look at it, nature as sublime, how little we actually partake in conquering nature, the countless ways in which people have strived to redefine nature, and how nature fight back. All of these I found to be interesting, but the last section of chapter eight, Nature Beyond the Left, I found the end of this section related a lot to how I have often thought of historical events such as the black plague, yellow fever, AIDS, and other health epidemics. That if you disconnect yourself from the lives of those effected you can in fact view the situation as gaia, mother nature, as having an immune system, and her attempts to rid herself of a deadly virus that has been infecting her, humans as a virus. I am not trying to say that I completely agree with this viewpoint, but I can see how the idea fits together.

In relation to the last chapter of Coates book, I found it to be the most compelling due to the fact that it is the one that people reading it can actually impact. The idea that the ideas he mentions in this chapter are ones people right now can impact, shape, and change makes me think positively that even though our environmental problems are becoming greater and more dramatic. Younger generations are become more aware of nature, the preservation of it is becoming more important, and we are the only generation that can asses the problem at the same time as we can move towards improving it.

All in all, I did not enjoy the majority of the book, but I felt he addressed the right questions and historical points to emphasize the importance of what the future holds for environmental thinking, actions, and idealism’s.

-Ashley Tims

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