Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Wolves and bears and boars

So far the greatest achievement of the environmental movement, I have often argued, is to make us all terrified of the natural world. By emphasising the number and urgency of the threats we face, the greens risk turning the environment into a malign force that is out to get us.

I thought I was pretty much alone in this view, but I recently came across a passage from the late great Christopher Lasch saying much the same thing. I shall post it to Serendib in a day or two.

Anyway, given my view of the greens, I was delighted to see this piece in the Guardian. It is written by one of the most prominent Greens, George Monbiot, and positively revels in the richness and strangeness of the natural world:

I want to live in a land in which wolves might prowl. A land in which, as I have done in eastern Poland, I can follow a bend in a forest path and come face to face with a bison. In which, as I have done in the Pyrenees, I can stumble across a pair of wild boar sleeping under a bush. I am prepared to exchange a small risk to my life for the thrill of encountering that which lies beyond it. This is a romantic proposition, I admit. But is it not also a rational one?
Gratuitous plug: There are more nice quotations about nature in this article of mine from Openmind.

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