Our Role and Relationship With Nature | Environmental Topics and Essays
The relationship between the man and the environment has been established in the G. Shankar: He is a well known architect nationally for his attitude towards. After reading this article you will learn about the relationship between man and environment. Man cannot be considered in isolation from his environment. Free Essay: The Relationship Between Humans and the Environment Nearly everything that a human does is in response to the environment. Our lives are.
Romanticism Romanticism was not new; it had grown out of the Renaissance together with the modern scientific outlook. He would not give up the idea of total freedom for man that had preceded determinism. So he rejected the concept of nature as a machine Schaeffer, Escape He also had an optimistic idea of human nature. He believed in the natural goodness of man, and explained sin and evil as the result of the negative influence of urban civilization.
If man was returned to his proper natural environment, apart from the artificialities of society, he would reveal his true, benevolent character. This led to the idea of the noble savage: And it is among savages that we must seek an example of the original, uncorrupted man Herrero 5. It is easy to see the appeal of these ideas for twentieth-century man, disenchanted with the science that had for so long been the more dominant view of the two.
The scientific or Enlightenment concept of the world held some things in common with Romanticism they had both sprung from the same humanistic foundation but in many ways they were mirror images Tarnas Rousseau and his followers were reacting against the rationalism of the Enlightenment, which had led to the hated mechanism.
Scientists had come to the conclusion through reason that man had no basis for freedom.
But this the Romanticists could not accept, so they rejected the reason and logic of science and placed the highest value on emotion and imagination instead Tarnas They felt that science was narrow-minded in accepting only information gained by empirical observation and emphasizing the exclusion of subjective interpretations of evidence based on preconceived beliefs.
On the contrary, they said, truth can be discovered only by using the emotions together with reason. In this way the epistemological limits of reason alone could be transcended Herrero 5. It was impossible to find one correct way of looking at the world, one single truth Tarnas By using all his faculties—his emotions, imagination, will, and faith, as well as his reason, man could create truth.
He must shape the indeterminate world and give it, and himself, meaning. Man was, or was becoming, God Tarnas Romantic Biocentrism But in spite of this idea, Romanticism, especially the modern type, has not been characterized by the same anthropocentrism as the scientific temperament.
For the Romantic, the world is a unitary entity, a whole. Individual organisms are not like parts of a clock, that can be separated from each other and still retain their identity; nor can the whole, like a clock, be disassembled and then reconstructed Worster Nature is a system, all parts of which are permeated by the same creative spirit. This divine world spirit manifests itself in the evolving forms of nature Rushdoony Not just man, but all of nature, is an expression of the divine.
If Christianity was theocentric and the Enlightenment was anthropocentric, Romanticism was biocentric. All forms of life are valuable, and because they are divine, they are also worthy of veneration. This is simply Eastern pantheism adopted by the West. Man and nature are one; all that is, is of one essence Schaeffer, Pollution This is why Thoreau could regard a muskrat as his brother, and a skunk as "a lowly human being" Worster The goal of Romanticism is the union of the human spirit with the nature-organism to which it truly belongs.
These things are equal to man; man has no special rights, no elevated place in the community of life Worster Obviously, Romanticism entirely rejects the idea that man has a right to exploit natural resources for his benefit, or to alter his environment to suit his convenience.
What is more, this philosophy is against scientific research, for nature is mysterious and sacred; not something to be coldly and empirically examined, but rather something to be revered Rushdoony But in reality it is impossible for him to live this way. In order to survive, he must kill other life—plants and animals for food, trees for shelter, bacteria that threaten his health.
And other animals do the same. If nature is ultimate, then it is normative. This is the same conclusion that is reached from the scientific viewpoint.
If there is no God to make laws and give us moral absolutes, then we must look to this world. So whatever we find in nature is right Rushdoony 11; Schaeffer, Pollution But nature is not always kind; sometimes it is cruel. The evolutionary scientists came to the conclusion that if nature worked through the method of survival of the fittest, then it was right for man to look out only for his own interests in his struggle to survive.
The Romanticists, who do not accept this, must wrestle with the problem of why death and destruction are, apart from man, common in the natural community. Popular culture enjoins us to love Mother Nature and feel ourselves one with the earth.
The evolutionary progression is denied; the world would be better off without mankind. But an element of scientific pragmatism is also common, especially among more conservative environmentalists and the average citizen. It is not wise to abuse the earth; this is the only one we have. This same pragmatism is responsible for the concern about the rapidly multiplying human population, and support for birth control, including abortion. Human life in itself is of little value to those of this persuasion; all that matters is for us and the people we care about to be comfortable.
We should note that for those who do not believe in God, the future is a frightening thing. Anthropogenic pollution of air, water and land has taken colossal dimensions. Man is constantly increasing the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Comfort seeking modern humans are paving the way of O3 layer depletion through CFCs. Man is dumping industrial and city sewage wastes into lakes, rivers and seas. Toxic chemicals used in modern agriculture for combating pests, diseases and weeds plus synthetic fertilizers are silently killing useful microbes maintaining the biogeochemical cycles, useful insects, birds, butterflies of the forests and fishes in the streams and lakes.
At least five activities of man may lead to global cataclysm killing all life on the earth: Continuous Greenhouse Gas Emission: Hazardous Chemicals of Agriculture and Industry: More thanXenobiotic chemicals are now being used.
Many of these are recalcitrant compounds.
Man and His Environment
They are accumulating in the environment causing threat of cancer epidemics and total extinction of birds, fishes, butterflies, bees and trillions of soil microbes essential for geo-chemical cycles. Several countries possess nuclear bombs with efficient delivery system for target sites.
If 10 of megaton bombs are exploded in different parts of the world, whole fabrics of life-forms including man will be extinct. Nuclear wastes generated in reactors are real threat to life on earth. Plutonium produced in reactors are used in bombs. It has half life of 24, years and after that half of it decays to U with a half-life ofyears.
We have accumulatedkg of plutomum.
Even if bombs are not made and those already existing are dismantled anotherkg of Plutonium — what to do with these wastes? The deliberate production of extremely powerful disease-producing bacteria, viruses or fungi for biological warfare is another great environment threat to mankind.
Our Role and Relationship With Nature
These super-powered pathogens, when released, will disseminate through air or water and can cause catastrophic epidemics to man and his domestic animals. Man—supposedly the most intelligent life-form—by misuse and over-use of science and technology has become the potential terminator of mankind and other life-forms.
Gaia theory suggests cooperation between men of different nations for not allowing further pollution and cooperative approach for ameliorating the pollutants already accumulated. Through a universal education curriculum, it is possible to encourage people everywhere to consider themselves as part of a larger picture. By teaching people about the environment, evolution, and ecology, we can provide them with the tools for change. Lewis Mumford imagined a social revolution brought about by a change in values through educational reform: In order to bring about necessary change it is critical that people take action.
Through a universal environmental education program it is possible to galvanize people into forming new ideas and opinions of the world and to understand their place within it.
A universal education program would go a long way in encouraging change in how we view each other and our environment. Changing attitudes are a primary component in achieving a sustainable future — one in which nature is allowed to run its course without human intervention. Gregg Easterbrook discusses a similar future in his The Ecorealist Manifesto: In order for the Earth to retain its balance, it is important that we not overstep our bounds as a species.
This requires a universal effort to reevaluate our relationship with nature and make adjustments as needed. Conclusion After thousands of years of societal evolution, we find ourselves at the peak of technology and pollution.
We are already seeing the effects of our industrial ways through the extinction of species, the melting of glaciers, and the destruction of the landscape. Our recognition of these effects suggests that our role in nature is far more influential than it should be. Therefore it is necessary that we make major changes and that we make them soon. Our role within nature should be one of subsistence rather than commercialization. We have exploited the world for too long and the consequences of doing so are everywhere.
- Man and His Environment
- Relationship between Man and Environment
As everything is related to everything, we have no right to infringe on the livelihood of any other species. In fact, our cognitive ability and understanding of nature obliges us to maintain the integrity of the environment. So we must change how we influence the land.
We must respect the natural order of things and find a way to live accordingly. Although a change in attitudes would require a complete overhaul of our current economic and political structures, it is something that must be done. As history shows, if we continue to encourage expansion and development it is very likely that we will see major effects in climate and ecology. We have seen the destructive nature of industrialism and capitalism.
We can predict and measure the effects of our actions on the environment. We know we are headed in the wrong direction and we are expecting major consequences. Industrialism and Deep Ecology. State University of New York, A Sand County Almanac. The Philosophers of Ecology.
Atlantic Media Company,