I found that continuing to read Nature by Coates was pretty tough. He jumps around so many different ideas and there is so much content that it becomes a bit confusing to read. Nonetheless, there is plenty of food for thought within these chapters.
Coates talks about the word scenery, which was born in the theater. Some natural scenes are staged – allowing us to interact with them as we see fit. However, in these staged scenes, are we interacting with nature or someone’s interpretation of nature? This reminds me of Holden Arboretum. It is a large area with many nature trails and a lookout tower. However, there is a small area of the arboretum which is much more staged, with cut grass and modern garden which probably has an appeal to some, but to me did not feel natural at all. I feel that the staged area isn’t doesn’t offer the same kind of exploration as un-staged nature might.
A recurring idea in Nature is that people have the need to control and consume nature. This comes back as Coates quotes a man who thinks that nature is so low on in respect that with improvement, a natural area may become a place. I believe the idea of man needing to control everything does not only apply to nature, but many subjects as well. For example, our current government.
In chapter 7, there is an argument stating that modern environmentalism stems from the many poisons humans produce – pollutants, nuclear fallout, insecticides, plastics, etc. I feel this is probably true – the Cuyahoga River catching fire in the 1960’s were a big mark for change in America. The fire able to happen because of all the pollutants in the river. Additionally, Coates talks about how modern environmental thought wants to dissociate with Romantic feelings from nature. Romantics felt that nature was essentially a religion. While I do not advocate for following nature as a religion, I actually believe that no respect for nature can form if there is no deep feeling for nature. So I may differ from modern environmental thought in this regard.
In Environmental news, Rome plans to ban all diesel cars by 2024 to combat air pollution . I think this is a really big step for Italy, and the announcement comes shortly after Germany announced a similar plan. Two-thirds of cars sold in Italy are fueled by diesel, so the ban will likely have major effects.