Thursday, February 18, 2010


“…toward the harmonious coexistence of the natural environment and human beings.” I saw this boilerplate phrase earnestly stated in some corporate or governmental (is there a discernible difference?) periodical the other day, the implication being that in achieving such harmony we are erasing some stubborn barrier between us and the natural world, that through noble corporate and governmental efforts we will set things right at last and get nature - the intractable counterparty to this annoying difficulty - back on track, as though the harmony we seek is a state that is somehow--unnatural, that only we, as the intelligent creatures of earth, can realize such harmony (for the first time in history), and that nature is at least half the problem.

Not a hint that the stuff up to neck level is our own, when the truth is that prehistory we came in to this world very much in harmony with it - in fact, of it - and have since screwed it up immeasurably by our greed and selfishness and species narcissism, for centuries admiring ourselves in the sullied rivers, viewing our achievements reflected in conquest and industrial smoke, enthralled by our progress in the clearcut or uniformly and economically replanted forests and paved rivers, are we not wondrous creatures, now let us get busy and fix nature, get it into harmony with us and our ambitions.

The fact is, though, as that tricky little self-delusional phrase shows, we aren’t really budging an inch, and never will, until either nature just can't take it anymore, or we acquire true intelligence.


Kenelwood said...

Hear hear. Well said.


R. Brady said...

Thanks, Ken... and thanks for this link...