“‘This desire stemmed from the belief that man’s essential nature resided in his emotions (‘I feel therefore I am’) rather than his reason (‘I think therefore I am’)…'” This really represents a struggle of values, emotions versus thought that is around even today and has been for awhile.
“None wanted to trade permanently the benefits of modern life for the charms of existence in rude nature. Most sought only a temporary antidote. ‘Cataracts and mountains are good occasional society’, Wordsworth conceded, ‘but they will not do for constant companions.'” You can often call out the “posers” who call for a return to nature but won’t sleep outside all night.
“human domination over nature ‘did not rest upon columns of steel and shafts of timber but rather upon the soul’s aptitude to use nature in exploits of self-discovery and to contemplate the essential, spiritual harmony exhibited by the created universe.'” This is super interesting, the idea that nature’s true value is it’s assistance is self-discovery and knowledge.
“Besides, these middle-class initiatives often displayed more concern with the detrimental effects that enjoyment of cruelty would have on the moral status of the lower orders and their behavior towards other humans than sincere interest in the well-being of the animal victims. Whereas the ancient Roman elite trusted that gory spectacles would exhaust plebeian emotional urges, rendering the populace more tractable, the British Victorian establishment believed that sadistic amusements exacerbated people’s natural bestiality.”
“Each interest group takes from evolutionary theory and ecological study what best serves its needs.”
We worked on defining ‘Wilderness’ and ‘Nature’. Now I want to define ‘Conservation’, ‘Environmentalism’, and ‘Ecology”.
ecologist=’social healer’, not heal nature but to be healed by it
There seems to be three ways of finding actual value in Nature: Aesthetic value, Spiritual value, or Materialistic value.
Also seems to be two separate moral reasonings for environmentalist concern: concern for the physical earth and concern for humans. For example, the excuse that natural parks should be around for future generations is not true concern for the earth itself but concern of humanity. This is another reason why access to what is preserved is as important as the actual act of preservation.
The idea that the environmental struggle is the the struggle against capitalism is interesting. “In short, who owns the means of production is not such a trivial issue.” I have often felt this way when judging what I could do to really help the environmentalism cause. Effects in industry are far more than the effects of the individual but I personally can’t control industry. So it does feel like the struggle to decide how resources are used with an upper class.
I noticed that often “recreation” was named as one of the main enjoyments/uses of nature.
Coates has a fantastic conclusion at the end of ‘the future of nature’!
Environmental Stuff Notes:
A conversation today brought up a good point about the sustainable practice of buying local foods. What defines local? Within the city? Within the county? Within the state? Within so many miles such as 150 miles? Is it reasonable to only buy food within the county which has very limiting options or availability? Buying from southern Ohio might be reasonable but this hardly seems as local. What about buying regionally? This still lessens the travel of the food and still ensures variety, quality, and availability.