Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Nature of Humans


As I've commented before, I'm wary of distinguishing between "Nature" and "Not-Nature" with regard to human beings.

Humans are part of "Nature," that is, Homo sapiens is a species of animal that co-evolved with all other species. It’s important that we internalize this reality. 

When we deny the reality of our basic “Nature-ness,” we allow ourselves to engage in behavior that is destructive to the world of Nature. We ignore the fact that what harms Nature harms us as well. We give ourselves license to take from Nature without giving back, to take from Nature faster and in greater amounts than can be naturally replenished. We allow ourselves to create waste and “throw it away,” into Nature, faster and in greater quantities than can be naturally assimilated. We forget that there is no “away.”

It’s also important to understand that humans cannot bring about the “End of Nature.” Even if humans fail to end our profligate ways, resulting in global environmental “collapse,” Nature will abide. It may be that Nature will change to a form that does not support intelligent (sic) upright featherless bipeds, but it will still be Nature and natural systems will continue to operate as they have since the beginnings of life on this planet.

Nature Bats Last is not just a bumper sticker.

There’s no getting around the bitter fact that we can’t do anything we want and get away with it. We might as well get over it and get on with the task of becoming responsible members of the community of life on this tiny, much abused, whirling mudball we call Earth. Our friends and neighbors on the planet will welcome us with open arms, legs, wings, flippers and pseudopodia.

An article in Mother Earth News, Coming Home to Nature, speaks elegantly about the unity of humans and Nature.