This weeks reading is a very philosophical piece on how we view nature, how we could view nature, and how we should view nature. It focuses on our relationship with nature and how that shapes our understanding of nature and our place within it.
Our relationship with nature is really really weird and it just keeps getting weirder. I don’t really know what it means to be a human anymore considering how alienated we are from this earth. Growing up in Oregon was a blessing as far as the United States goes, but even with the mountains and vast forests and ocean readily available for us to experience do we actually experience them? I’ll go on a hike but only walk on a procured human walking path, I’ll go skiing on Mt. Hood and will practically just be playing a game on the mountain between trips to the lodge for a hot drink, I’ll go to the beach and lay on a towel and use a plastic shovel to dig a hole, I’ll go camping and sit in a warmed trailer or a closed up tent. I done this stuff a lot, and I feel like I’ve “experienced” nature more than the average person, but have I even experienced it? When I walk down the street here at OSU I love to view the trees as they change colors, but these trees have been placed there for precisely that reason and nothing more. Arranged in a row and evenly spaced out. I don’t feel like modern day humans in this western culture have a connection to the earth past the relationship that produces us a profit. We view it as a sport, an activity, a view, an attraction, a resource, something we can exploit, sometimes something we can protect, but never as a part of us.