Monday, February 1, 2010

33 / Losing Touch With The Natural World

The International Herald Tribune is the English language paper of choice for U.S. travelers outside the United States (though I must say that the South China Morning Post, available in Hong Kong, is also a very good English language paper).

At any rate, the Monday, February 1, 2010 edition of the International Herald Tribune, as placed outside my hotel door in Singapore, had an interesting column by Tom Zeller, Jr., titled "Failed efforts in protecting biodiversity."

The phrase that particularly caught my eye was this one: "That developed societies are losing touch with the natural world is not exactly news..."

Well, it isn't. And my tour of the growth spots in Asia, including Hong Kong and Singapore, convinces me that we have, indeed, lost touch with even the existence of the natural world. The focus of human activity, everywhere, is to build a world that is of, by, and for the humans, without much attention, in any way, to the ultimate dependence of everything we do on the World of Nature.

The photo illustrating today's posting is of the Marina Bay Sands, a new casino under construction in Singapore, and due to open by the end of this year. It is truly one of the most striking architectural constructions I have ever seen, resembling a ship stranded in mid-air. The link shows what it's going to look like when it is done.

Zeller quotes Ray Anderson, the founder of "Interface," a carpetinbg conmpany, and the author of the book Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: Profits, People, Purpose - Doing Business by Respecting the Earth:
There's a web of life and we're part of it. We're not above it and we're not outside it.
So true. But as the new Singapore casino illustrates by its very design, we continue to think that we can sail on in a world that we make ourselves, and remain, as we build our world, above it all!

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