This is a photograph of one of Manitoba’s lovely little orchids that are blooming right now. I am a wild flower guy. I hate what is happening to flowering plants, and other plants, around the world!
Some people don’t–no make that most people–don’t think we need a new attitude to nature. They are content with the current attitude to nature that is deeply embedded in western thought. Fundamentally, this is the attitude that we humans are not part of nature. According to the conventional wisdom, we are separate from nature and in fact superior to it, so that we can do with nature as we please. Nature is just a resource. When Europeans arrived in New World, as they called, even though there was nothing new about, they brought this attitude with. That is a pity because the indigenous people had an entirely different attitude which I will comment on soon.
This is the western attitude to nature in a nutshell which has been with us for millennia and is supported by Christian scripture, though fortunately, some modern Christians are trying with heroic efforts to turn that ship around. I wish them luck.
There is some very recent history to support my contention that current attitudes have got us in big trouble. Recent studies have shown that pollution caused by humans is killing 9 million people a year around the world.
The recent study is based on data from the Global Burden of Disease Project. That study found that air pollution caused 75% of those deaths. That means that air pollution is responsible for 1 in 6 deaths around the world!
The study was published in the journal Lancet Planetary Health and it said that toxic air and contaminated water and soil “is an existential threat to human health and planetary health.” According to the Guardian Weekly review of that research, “The death total dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria, and TB combined!”
Of course, pollution is produced by humans the greatest serial killer on the planet. Humans produce it because they don’t care about nature.
Another recent study has shown that 80,000 plant species world-wide are currently categorized as “heading for extinction because people do not need them!” Many of these are flowers which as a flower child I lament of course, with special feeling.
And for those who don’t care about wild flowers or even nature, but care about money, and that includes a lot of people, here are the economics: “The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.7 tn., about $9m a minute.”
That should get their attention.
And in a nutshell, that is one reason why we need a new attitude to nature. But there are many.