Sunday, October 17

We all learned to love nature indoors. Now turn that into action | Environment

I became an adult during the pandemic. So it was quite a regrettable affair compared to the intoxication of what an 18th birthday is supposed to be. Turning 18 is always going to be scary, but it is especially so in a society that makes adulthood somewhat disgusting. formal.

To be an adult is to be civil. Or so they have taught me. Wilderness is an antonym for civilization. Since we see “civilized” as a desirable trait, where does that say “wild”? We observe a corny dog ​​next to a fireplace or a flock of docile sheep and mark them as domesticated, smug in our role as tamers, not realizing that humans are perhaps the most domesticated species of all, with 75% of them young people who spend more time indoors. than prisoners.

And yet, despite our apparent repulsion for mud, insects, and the most elemental aspects of nature, we are fascinated by nature. The story of the “wild child” captures everyone’s imagination. Whether it’s Mowgli in The Jungle Book, Romulus and Remus suckled by a wolf, the Paris exposition on the slopes of Mount Ida, or Tarzan, there’s something undeniably alluring about those who are raised by animals (not humans).

Because of that innate fascination, some call it “biophilia,” almost anyone can fall in love with the natural world again when given the chance. It just gets more difficult as age passes and society pulls you away from it. When the terrible tide of the pandemic rushed in, it brought incomprehensible destruction and devastation. But it also brought new experiences that many had missed.

I remember those spring mornings, as humid and smoky as a newborn calf, more vividly than at any other time in my life. The silence in London meant that we could suddenly hear the frogs serenading themselves and the birds singing orchestral goodbye to winter. Many noted the day when daffodils poked their heads into the sunlight and watched the gray British winter thaw and life was renewed. It is ironic that the pandemic, which caused many of us to enter fields and parks with eyes wide open and ears pricked to hear birdsong, was due to our destruction of nature. It was a kind of poetic justice.

The coronavirus is a secondary and symptomatic crisis. We are creating a vulnerable and fragile planet and in doing so we become increasingly vulnerable and fragile as well. Our war against nature is a war against ourselves. If this pandemic teaches us anything, it must be that we cannot go on with business as usual. Viruses and diseases are environmental problems. Approximately 75% of emerging diseases are zoonotic. It is a bleak and terrifying reminder of our vulnerability. Although we have been to the moon, created the Internet, invented miracle cures, and conceived complex cultures, we are still bound by the laws of the natural world and will never be exempt from the havoc we wreak on it.

I entered the pandemic as a child and came out, legally speaking, as an adult. I don’t know if anyone ever feels like a real adult instead of an imposter in a suit, paying taxes and pretending to be on top of things, but I do know that we have to change the idea from slowly disillusionment with the natural world to As it grows it is an automatic process. It is not. It is what we are taught in this culture right now.

Until recently, many of us had not realized the effect that our disconnection from the environment was having on the world, because although the impact was being felt across much of the planet, privilege bubbles gave some of us the luxury of anticipate destruction. instead of experiencing it. We now know the consequences first hand and there is no going back.

We must use what we have experienced, what we have learned, and what we have felt, and channel it into a determined effort to challenge political apathy and advance political will by questioning the very foundations of how our government is addressing the environmental crisis. It is no longer about modest adjustments while we tweak the limits of the system; it is about changing the same story that we tell ourselves. It’s about changing our national narrative from one of endless growth and consumption to one in which the values ​​of respect, compassion and well-being are at the core of what we do. The relentless and unstoppable growth in the human body is called cancer. So why, when it’s on Earth, do we call it progress?

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