Nature and Us
“The ingenuity with which we continue to reshape the surface of our planet is very striking, but it’s also sobering. It reminds me of just how easy it is for us to lose our connection with the natural world. Yet it’s on this connection that the future of both humanity and of the natural world will depend.”
– David Attenborough
As more of the global population than ever before now lives in cities and built-up areas – over 50 per cent and rising – the trend towards urbanisation raises profound questions about our place in the natural world: (Read More)
- How does being a city-dweller affect our relationship with and connection to the other species with which we share the planet?
- With the growth of urban populations and megacities, and lifestyles that are increasingly dominated by ‘smart’ technology, for many people the natural world can seem distant and irrelevant. How can city living be more in tune with the natural world?
Nature as Other
7.5 billion humans on Earth (and counting) depend on functioning ecosystems. The world’s forests, oceans, rivers and other natural habitats perform vital functions in regulating the air we breathe, providing the food we eat, the water we drink, and offer protection against the most dangerous impacts of climate change.
We are part of the natural world and whatever language we use to describe the pheonomenon – the Anthropocene, the Sixth Mass Extinction – there is no doubt that our actions are beginning to shape nature in ways that are not just harmful for other life forms but, fundamentally for ourselves too. To see nature as ‘other’, something external to us which we can control, is to lose sight of a simple truth:
“We are nature. What we do to nature, we do to ourselves.” – Satish Kumar
Of course, nature is not always benign, and many people are only too aware of their dependence on the natural world. People living on the frontline in regions of the world most affected by climate change may need no reminder of their connection to nature. However, particularly in the ‘developed’ world, interaction with other species, natural landscapes and ‘the great outdoors’ continues to decline.