Friday, July 30, 2010

Defending Nature

There are now thousands of nature blogs online and most celebrate the beauty and grandeur of nature by offering a mix of photos, essays, poems and links. After all, our primary purpose is to instill our passion in others and, by doing so, to encourage support for conservation efforts across this magnificent planet.

But our message would be incomplete without calling attention to the forces that denigrate or directly oppose the conservation movement. Most obvious are the industries that fail to address their impact on our natural environment; rampant development, pollution and excessive consumption all take toll. In like manner, political powerbrokers, subject to the influence of agricultural and industrial lobbyists, often fail to enact regulations that would serve to protect our environment. Finally, religious organizations, by drawing a distinction between man and nature, foster a simplistic, human-centered view of our Universe which, in effect, tends to minimize our dependence on natural ecosystems.

To profess an interest in nature without speaking out against those who threaten her welfare is an empty gesture. As the most intelligent and, collectively, the most powerful species on this planet, we are obliged to protect the complex web of life that has led to our existence. If we fail to defend nature, our species may be one of the first to suffer the consequences; indeed, the natural ecosystems of this planet would manage just fine without us.