In examining values for nature, an author* asked prominent American biologists in conservation whether they have been transformed by experiences with nature or whether they identify with it.
You are probably now reflecting on your own experiences and thinking, well, both! That’s certainly how I feel: my time walking in forests has been life-transforming but I also identify deeply with the inter-connectedness of nature in a way that gives me a sense of place in the world.
What’s interesting is that some of the biologists felt that calling biodiversity ‘transformative’ creates a division (transformer and transformee) that conceals the fact that we are part of nature. Many identified with nature and had been transformed by it, and some, including Jane Lubchenco (head of NOAA), also thought that the idea of a hard-wired identification with nature is an over-exaggerated concept.**
–> To what extent can we expect the 7 billion people on the planet today to be transformed or identify with nature? We are a part of it …and yet we have removed ourselves.
–> And what is the use for the developing world of trying to poeticize what is merely a resource for survival, a sacred site for deeper meaning or a source of destruction?