Week 6-Nature Review Daniel Delatte

The first thing that really stuck out to me in this part of the book was that the landscape and and idea of the American West was not created by “19th century white adventures, but Euro-Americans.” I do not completely agree with this point, but I would also not argue against it. It also put into perspective the way we preserve the land compared to the indigenous people’s of the America’s. Coates says that Yosemite was park like because of the way that Indians had managed the lands. “It struck white visitors who came in the soldiers’ wake as parklike because of the way the Indians had intensively managed the valleys to maximize the number of game and animals and acorns (as well as to create recreational opportunities). It was a little funny how the a woman whose tribe had previously inhabited the land thought it was very poorly handled and was “unimpressed” with the layout. John Clare sort of reminded me of a Edward Abbey, just sort of detailing nature through whatever means he could. The description they gave him thoroughly fit what kind of man he seemed to be “peasant poet.” Wrote because he wanted to, not for money. The Black Act of 1723 just showed how serious they began to take nature. Ralph Allen’s “Bath” he created reminds me of the people of indigenous people of Easter Island who drove themselves to ecological suicide by doing the same thing. They used all of their trees creating ropes to form a system, like Ralph’s, tramway, to create a system to maneuver their created sculptures across the island. They both did it recreationally only Ralph had the means to do it without catastrophically harming himself or the environment. I like how, and agree on how the latter part of the book—mainly in Ch. 7—stresses how new environmentalism and romanticism is more aligned with biocentric thinking because I do believe in this new age it is interpreted a whole lot differently than in previous years. It had previously been under authority from churches, monarchs, and God (which was “selfish” 127.) Now, it is more amply shared amongst the people (forest lands are “for the people.”) With the abundance of green spaces declining people go out of their way to find new places that may not even be necessarily green, but make do. It was also cool to see how sublime reappeared again. Immanuel Kant used it saying that in order for it to truly be sublime you’ll feel “horror” in the experience. I previously read Fukuyama’s piece “The End of History” in a International Politics class here and I did not expect it to lead to him placing the blame on environmentalists as the culprits behind the end to history. I can see how the course of nature and it’s development is altered by the course of actions that are taken to preserve it, but at the same time where would we be without it?

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