Friday, October 21, 2011

Does our Bambi view of nature need to change?

I'd like to share this thought-provoking quote from this excellent piece I recently read entitled The Business of Cooling the Planet:

"The Bambi view of nature is the wrong view," Eisenberger tells me as we settle in for a long conversation on his porch, looking at the ocean below. "On a longer time scale, nature is very violent. It operates by creation through disruption -- asteroid impacts, super-volcanoes, giant tsunamis that totally reset things." These disruptions created beautiful places like the Mendocino coast or the Grand Canyon. "There's this whole correlation in nature between violence and beauty," Eisenberger says. He pooh-poohs the idea of preserving the earth in its "natural state" because there's no such thing. "If we just leave nature alone, nature will not leave us alone," he says. "We should manage nature."

This sort of reminds me of the debate on the emergence of e-books and people's irrational attachment to non-electronic media, like hard cover books or newspapers simply because they have this nostalgic view of a person sitting down and flipping through physical pages. The world is always changing and insisting on preserving it exactly the way it is will not benefit anyone. It may in fact hold us back.

For those interested, the article itself is actually a thorough discussion on the development of new technologies to capture carbon from the atmosphere and attempt to utilize it for generation of energy. It could ultimately lead to complete independence from oil, which would be great news and in my opinion will likely transform our region. It's a pretty enlightening read.


J C said...

People have this absurd notion that they are immortal and are in control of things when in fact, we cannot control anything and most certainly we cannot "manage nature". When Earth feels like it, it will shake us off within a few seconds.

I have addressed this subject somewhat elaborately (and sarcastically) on my blog. Here is the link if interested

Matt said...

e-books do not smell nice and there is no pleasure in loaning them to another person, nor in having a collection of them sitting upon your wall. e-books are also no good at mopping up puppy pee from the kitchen floor, nor wrapping up fish and chips.

Lama Bashour said...

J C, thanks for sharing your post. Very interesting and quite dark. :) I totally agree with you about having an issue with "managing nature". We cannot never really manage it (Watching Melancholia gave me a big dose of that). We can manage some situations and adapt to the ones we cannot do anything about.

Matt, Lol!