The second half of Nature offered what I felt to be a more relatable construct of nature.
I thought it was interesting when Coates described nature as offering a scope of imagination, but natural “scenes” as being framed, and therefore allowing less imagination to flow, or only specific thoughts based on how the scene is framed. In this, places like national parks fall under this category despite the fact that they are generally considered “real” nature/wilderness, they have been placed as they are to look like they do by humans and therefore, despite their perceived wilderness they have an unseen frame, we are meant to view them in a certain way.
I also think it’s important how he notes the social injustice that goes with nature, stating that parks were a social construct of private property, solely allowing an outlet for the rich. Along with this, throughout history we have used “nature” to justify the hierarchy, because our treatment of people is their “natural” place. He also discusses that it is important to understand not only the role of things like the industrial revolution and population increase and their impact on nature, but also the difference between privileged and underprivileged humans and their differing role in human impact on nature and to note that many changes to the environment have been devastations to certain populations of humans, but there is also an importance in removing this social justice interplay because it removes nature from being the victim.
I also thought the book took an interesting look at the eugenics movement and GMO’s, stating that it was unnatural and was about economics rather than natural selection, which I completely agree with. However, so is agriculture in general, we are trying to feed ourselves, not create a natural environment, there are so many impacts that changing forest to pastureland and mass producing cattle and other agricultural practices have that aren’t natural selection, they are completely about economics.
I also thought it was interesting that he noted the modern movement of the idea that nature has not been completely oppressed, that it still plays a powerful force and still heals itself. Which is true, but that doesn’t mean that we can just be complacent and standby and continue the degrading practices we have been utilizing when we know how degrading they are.
NEWS: Tapping into the public’s passion for the ocean could be the key to reducing the threats to it posed by plastic pollution.
A new study from University of Plymouth suggests that people may be more inclined to make decisions about plastic and waste if they see how their actions affect themselves (I know, ground-breaking). They say that it may be beneficial to place warnings on plastics about the potential degradation they will cause to marine life and oceanfront vacation locations like the ones that are on cigarette boxes. I think this may help peak interest in conservation, but it does not get at the route of the problem, that the companies are using these plastic problems, and we don’t have a very sustainable alternative to these packaging techniques.