‘I prefer to let mother nature do her thing.’
‘I think we should just let nature take its course.’
These phrases irritate me.
In some contexts, they are correct to let ‘nature take it’s course,’ still, the phrase itself does something powerful to human minds.
These are just some more phrases we use that show how we talk of ourselves as if living on the periphery of nature.
We just dip our toes into nature every now and then.
‘The world would be a better place if humans stopped interfering!’ How common is that comment said aloud and typed out online?
This language game we play casts illusions of our separation from what we call nature.
This is a problem for all parts of the spectrum on the climate change debate.
There is a side that knows climate change is real, and humans are a large reason for it, and this can lead to a misanthropic view of humanity.
If humans would just stop interfering with nature, the world would be a better place, it is said.
I sometimes wonder if people have truly thought about that sentence before they say it.
Do they believe that humans can exist and not ‘interfere’?
How can we leave things be in a world where we are intrinsically attached to the environment we interact with?
That is to say, we are nature, and we are within the ecosystem itself.
We depend on that ecosystem as much as any other animal out there.
So they acknowledge that humans are at ‘fault’ for climate change, but the words we use often get in the way of change.
In another camp of people who accept climate change facts, they posit that it’s pointless for us to do anything about it now; it’s too late.
And to some degree, I am in this pessimistic camp.
But I note that nature is always changing; things evolve and adapt.
So it’s only natural then, for us as a species, even if the mess is our own making, to say, ‘Fuck, how can we adapt to this information that we’re fucking up?’
And while we cannot stop climate change, we must and can surely adapt to at least lessen the damage?
Who would I be in all my pessimistic glory to suggest that we shouldn’t at least try?
It’s only natural for us, after all, to want to adapt and change to survive.
On the other hand, it’s also natural for us to hide away from scary things, from the truth.
Like people who simply deny climate change, or they do lightly accept it, but they don’t accept humans as the cause.
If anyone has had a spell cast upon them so brilliantly, it’s these people.
The very fact they can’t grasp the idea that humans would have an impact on the environment is an astounding example of the spell words can cast.
Of course we have an impact. And that doesn’t make us unique; all species have an impact on the environment!
Why would humans be immune from making an impact on it?
Oh right, yea, because we talk ourselves into thinking we’re outside of nature, or nature is outside of us.
I don’t believe the bigger changes can happen until we become more conscious as a collective of ourselves being within the thing we call nature.
I think people might be more prone to take positive action if we did away with all the illusions.
Because the truth is, humans are a force of nature.
When something gets called a force of nature, it’s usually something to do with the weather, something ‘mother nature’ does that humans have no control over.
A force of nature may also be used for those fiercest of non-human animals.
Humans are a force of nature for bad, and one hopes for good too.
If we acknowledge we are a force of nature along with our ability to be conscious of the force we bring, with the attitude of using that force more sustainably and become more conscious of our roles within the whole (nature & the ecosystem. Or Everything,) maybe we’d find more people actually give a shit and start caring about our impact on the environment.
Or maybe it’s a pipe dream.
We need to fight for more access to land and end the exclusion cult Nick Hayes mentions in his work The Book Of Trespass.
For the right to access not just in the hopes of nurturing more care in humans for the earth, but also for our health for reasons you can read in Losing Eden: Why our minds need the Wild by Lucy Jones.
And because we all need to become carpenters despite not really knowing if it’s going to work.
I found this quote on Quora:
If there was ever a quote that emphasises we’re in it, and this is our home yet also the place that could and will kill us, it’s this:
‘…We’re in an even stranger position now, essentially carpenters in a crumbling house we neither built nor fully understand, blindly hammering at walls hoping it will help keep us alive a few more minutes.’
‘The Natural world is the refuge of the spirit, remote, static, richer even than the human imagination. But we cannot exist in this paradise without the machine that tears it apart.’
Edward O Wilson Biophilia
After all that, all I can ask is, do we want to become gardners or do we want to be the machine that only tears it all apart?
The machine is here to stay. We can not exist without it.
But will we garden around the machine?