Friday, December 4, 2009

Interesting thoughts on Environmentalism

Came across this while working on a research paper:
"Environmentalism includes desires to get closer to nature, to preserve it, to leave it alone, to clean it up, and to pass on stewardship of it to the next generation. We alternately feel possessive, defensive, protective, harmonious, and alienated towards what we blithely call the 'environment,' having very little sense of what the environment actually is. We frequently need to be reminded that the term contains no determining sense of what actually does surround us, of what place we find ourselves in, of how we may recognize or define it, and especially of how we come to value it. It is an obvious but troubling fact, for instance, that downtown Toronto or suburban Los Angeles are as much 'environments' as the Galapagos Islands or James Bay. We distinguish them by the degrees and kinds of human involvement in their physical or imaginative construction, rather than by some essential inherent difference."
Onno Oerlemans in Romanticism and the Materiality of Nature

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