When we lived in the city I felt that we lost some of the connection we had with the natural world. Moving back to the West Coast, and to a smaller town, it was our goal to regain some of that connection with the environment and, maybe more importantly, make sure our kids grew up with a similar connection. This summer, during some of my reflective walks, I have been listening to a podcast of a CBC radio show called The Bottom Line by David Suzuki. Through 10 – 1 hour episodes this series has looked at the disconnect our current society has with the environment and tries to educate us as to just how interconnected everything on this earth really is. You can find more info on this show on their website and you can download the series on itunes until Sept 20, 2010. I feel that there is a real division between people who devote their lives trying to excel in the economy and people who work to save the planet. I recommend this show as a way to step back from your views on both sides and realize that the economy and are environment do not act independently of each other.
I get the feeling that many people act as if the natural world and the human world are different and separate from each other. This is an easy line to draw as our city dwellings and daily routines are so different than any other animal that live out in the ‘wild’. Our survival in today’s world revolves around income, social status, and feeling good about ourselves, and less about obtaining food, water, and shelter. The mountains, forests, and oceans are different worlds to us and while they are nice to visit and photograph we do not relate to them as places where humans belong. Each generation seems to get more and more removed from the natural world and what is really happening around us.
The truth is that humans are, and always will be as long as we inhabited the Earth, connected with every other living thing. Our survival is dependent on air, food, and water, and the natural cycles of the world provides this for us free of charge. The biggest concern of most of our society, as stated in recent political polls, involves the economy. This I can understand as it affects our daily lives right now. The problem I see is that as we have become so disconnected with the natural world the decisions our society makes have failed to grasp the vital link between long term economic viability and a healthy earth. Simply put if we put too much stress on the natural systems then things will begin to collapse starting with our precious economy.
I feel that it is critical that humans regain this connection with the environment and we will be doing all we can to raise our family and influence our community with the environment in mind. Humans are natural beings. We are made up of organic material that was claimed by our bodies from the environment. We are born, and we die like every other organism on earth. We are a part of this world and it is time that we start recognizing that we do not just live here but we an integral part of the natural cycle of life. I feel strongly that we have to start realizing this connection the earth and every living thing and start making global decisions based on this connection. We have to bring the economists and the environmentalists together and realize that we do not have to compromise one for the strength of the other. We do have to make some drastic changes and we have to make them now or the results will be catastrophic.
I did not mean to make this blog so preachy as I know that always turns people off. It is almost impossible to be so passionate about something and not sound like an arrogant ‘know it all’ who is trying to influence the world to see things their way. All I would like our society to do is to try and connect with the natural world, see how it gives them their life, and decide what they feel needs to be done to ensure that the earth stays in good enough shape to create and sustain life for generations and generations to come.
Our family will spend enough time on the oceans so that they can be amazed at the biodiversity and thrilled at the sight of some amazing natural wonders. I want our kids to be saddened and angry about species reduction and oceans dying due to the changing acidity of the water. We will discuss changes we can make as a family and as a society to improve the survival of the oceans. Our family will spend time in different ecosystems on land to gain knowledge to be able to make decisions that will not have a negative impact. We want our kids to realize that the atmosphere is also part of the natural world and it should not be a dumping ground as much as the oceans and the earth cannot be. I will not have to tell our kids what the best decisions are for their generation as if we get them to connect with the environment that they are a part of then they ultimately will make the best decisions for their future.
Listening to the ‘Bottom Line’ did not give me these views but it did help in clarifying how I felt. Not everyone who goes out and tries to reconnect with the natural world will have the same views as I do but I do feel that without trying to understand our role and realize its critical importance on our survival, our society will not be equipped to make the best decisions and will continue down this path of uncertainty.
I would love people to listen to this series and let us know if it has helped them feel a little more connected with the natural world. Thank you for reading my rant; it is much appreciated.