Wednesday, December 8, 2010

340 / Exquisitely Dependent

Bill McKibben is an author, educator and environmentalist. His book, The End of Nature, warns us that our assumption that nature "moves with infinite slowness," and that nature provides us, therefore, with a stable foundation for our own lives, is simply mistaken.

Most recently, McKibben has been campaigning for immediate action to confront our global warming crisis, through his organization He discusses this work in a conversation reprinted in Earth Island Journal, and he comments in that conversation about how his research for a piece printed in The New Yorker made him realize something profoundly important about the relationship between nature and our human creations:
Even Manhattan, which seems like a place that can generate money and things out of thin air, in fact was exquisitely dependent on the operation of the physical world.
I believe that we live, simultaneously, in two worlds, the world of Nature and a world that we create. If that is true, we need to get an accurate understanding of what that means. Our world with all its past and future permutations, is, was, and always will be "exquisitely dependent" on the world of Nature, which sustains and makes possible all that we do.

When we put Nature in peril, we put ourselves and our own creations in peril even more.

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