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February 22, 2007

Environmentalism: Science or Religion

With all of the selected readings that we have had over the past week, there were two main points that were derived out of them.
A) Environmentalism is/based on religion

B) Environmentalism is/should be based on facts

I know that there are many people who would like to save the environment. Thats all good and all, but thats not the way that i see humans treating the environment. The environment is something that needs to be studied and observed, not used as a way for people to rely on to help solve their issues that they cant deal with themselves. That to me is why i can never truly believe in environmentalism as a religion

The religious aspect of environmentalism is like a glove. It only fits if you put it on the right hand. With that analogy said, you would have to be the right kind of person to actually take something away from the religious aspects of environmentalism. With the "tree huggers" of the world saying that we need to save the environment because it is alive is true, to an extent. The environment is alive, but it does not have free will to get up and move about as we do, with a purpose.

Science can explain many things in the world. It can explain why we travel around the sun, why an apple doesn't fall into the sky, and why the environment is the way it is. There are many instruments that can detect the slightest imbalance due to CO2 or temperature in certain parts of the world. What makes you think that science can't explain why things happen in nature. We are able to find links to the past through archaeologically excavations that try to preserve the environment to explain what it was like and how we can save it through scientific means.

a link to climatecrisis.net

February 15, 2007

Environment: Religious or not?

With nature and religion so intertwined with some people, it is hard to imagine that there are people out there who don’t have the same viewpoint. I am one of those people. I don’t take it as far as saying that nature can’t exist without religion, but I don’t think that there is absolute proof to point to religion being directly related to nature.

With all of the environmentalists running around these days, it is hard for me to get a good hold on what I should believe about the environment. I was raised in a family that doesn’t go to church, but has a deep respect for nature because it provides freedom from everyday life. Don’t get me wrong, I am no tree hugger who is going to go live in a tree to stop a guy from cutting it down. That’s just unreasonable. But I do admit that there are many things wrong with the way that the environment is handled by all walks of life.

Humans have roamed the earth far shorter than most other animals. Humans have used nature from the beginning, as godlike figures, so I guess early humans were the first forms of environmentalists, protecting and harboring what was best for their surroundings. But as humans adapted to new surroundings, they used their surroundings to make new advancements, be it cutting down a forest, or killing animals for food.

Now with all of the technical advances it is hard to tell what the right thing to do with the environment is. There are several groups dedicated to this exact task, none of which have come up with a solution that would appease all the religious groups or the conservative groups that are fighting for the “correct? (i.e. their way) to solve the environmental issues.

These guys look like they want to help.
Are you an Environmentalist or a "Tree Hugger?"

Here are a few photos that are enticing.

February 7, 2007

Nature in the City

With the way that Couturier writes about interaction with nature, I think she has the best idea of what it is really supposed to be. Her idea is the most modern and most easily comprehensible way of looking at nature. When she quoted her professor, and his way of describing the nature of New York with a “capitol N?, it struck me with a power that I have only felt a few other times while reading a book or essay about nature, the environment, or even fiction.

I really liked the analogy of the ant hill that her professor made as well. To think that a colony of ants is almost directly similar to the way people of New York interact with each other and deal with their day to day lives struck me as fascinating. I would have never thought to relate anything of such magnitude (New York) to something that is so small (ant hill).

When Couturier talks about the sixth sense that “New Yorkers? have, it kind of boggled my mind that she was actually talking about watching rats or mice in the subway stations. But I guess that makes sense because they are attuned to their surroundings far better than we. When she watches the mice scurry away from a doughnut or candy bar, to pick up on the fact that the train is coming is something that is picked up from watching the animals do what they are best at.

With all of this talk of nature is a big city, it makes me think that nature truly can exist anywhere that it chooses. Yes, I say chooses. I believe that nature has its own free will. Plants and animals go where they choose and how they choose. But I believe that they also do this out of necessity and ease. The birds of the story did not have to stay with the crazy lady they could have left at any time, but the ease of food and the necessity of shelter caused them to stay. When the old lady left the building and the birds followed here, it was because it was the easiest way for them to get a meal. The co-existence of nature and humanity is a thin line that I think get crossed every day and then redrawn to a different set of guidelines for everyone. It all balances out in the end.

Here is your city wildlife.

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February 1, 2007

Dillard: Imagery and the Imagination

When I first thought of Annie Dillard’s writing, it made me just sit and ponder about why I just sit and ponder. Her train of thought seems to float as if it were on the winds of time. It all just floats along telling a sweet story of happiness, and also the beauties of nature. She does have her downsides to her writing. In her first paragraph from “Heaven and Earth in Jest?, she talks about her tomcat that, at night, comes in through her open window and leave blood tracks on her naked body. This thought disturbed and comforted me all at the same time. I like the fact that she is very comfortable with the fact that her cat, smelling like blood and urine, can crawl all over her and not make her feel uncomfortable. The part of this paragraph that disturbs me a little bit is the fact that she doesn’t mind the blood of her cat or other cats on her chest. That just strikes me as odd.

When she goes on her little journey through the pastures and across the creek to her spot of choice, the way she described all of the details and senses made me feel as if I was walking right along side of her. My imagination vividly took her writing in and took me into a deep state of relaxation, with a light hearted feeling with in me. But that may just be the fact that I like to sit and stare at the outdoors when I am inside, or just sit and watch the clouds float overhead when I get a free moment outside.

The vivid imagry that Dillard uses to describe the wind blowing actually does the job well. She took “tangible? (a cloud’s shadow) object to show the motion of the wind. The passage of time to here didn’t really seem to matter all that much, nor should it when you have free time. The colors of the sky and the visibility of the mountains and cliffs tell me that she could just sit all day and describe what she sees, what she feels, and what she hears. All her details, the sensory imagery, just makes me feel as if I were there.

Here is a website of things by Dillard.