Sunday, August 8, 2010

219 / The Death of Nature

Carolyn Merchant wrote The Death of Nature, in 1979, a book which articulates the importance of both feminism and an informed understanding of ecology. The book "articulates" them by more than simply "talking" about them; Merchant "articulates" them by joining them together as a single, indivisible whole. Her "Introduction," in fact, is titled, "Women and Ecology."

Merchant notes that the so-called "scientific" approach to understanding the natural world has been male dominated, and is "mechanistic" in its aims, and is the antithesis of a more feminine and ecological approach, in which we are seen as protected and nurtured by "Mother Nature."

Merchant's insights are wonderful, but I continue to think that an attempt to understand the world as if it were a single and unified entity, instead of seeing that we live, actually, in the two different worlds I posit, makes it difficult, if not impossible, for us to understand how we might, in fact, avoid the Death of Nature, which is surely coming unless we radically alter our course and behavior.


  1. Each human exhibits a combination of 'feminine' and 'masculine' tendencies. The definition of these is complex. A WOMAN may be a murderous mercenary, A MAN may tenderly care for wounded sea otters.

    1979 was a long time ago. In so many ways little has changed. The term MAN is still commonly used to refer to humans (just one more syllable, please)

    In some cases has 'Human Nature' become an oxymoron?

    The 'world' has always relied upon nature. Its tendency to dominate nature (dominion,) has, not only, forced and exploited, but in many cases is so extreme as to make human (the world's) intervention, protection or retrieval of the natural absolutely required. (ie: Oil-covered pelicans, etc. etc)

    It is 2010. People talk about the weather..but never the global practices of weather control technology (Look it up online) Things are intentionally being mucked up and experimented with. How very unfortunate (Which implies a loss of money.) But what do you call it when it is a loss of viability, health..a loss of nature? Even the word tragedy is a euphemism for what is being done.

    Listening to NPR, I recently heard a reporter on an Ice Breaker, huge noise in the background of the hull shattering the ice, mile after mile: "oh, how exciting," he says, "there is evidence of polar bears. There ARE polar bears around here. We will find them."

    Yes, find them and count them, and measure them and weigh them...but only by further destroying the ecosystem necessary for their very survival.
    You can't have it both ways; science seems generally to be tied to someone's ego or someone's wallet.

    Gary. Thank you for your all your considerate efforts to serve, both nature and humans,

  2. Thank you, Robin for such a powerful post!


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