• Taylor Berthusen

Ideal Nature.

Have you ever been so in awe of something that it leaves you speechless or thinking about it for days or even weeks to come? Recently on veteran’s day, I took advantage of my day off and drove spontaneously to the Grand Canyon. My plan was to sit at the edge and do some journaling. When I had arrived there, I was just taken back by the immerse beauty of it all. I had forgotten what it looked like, since the last time I had been to the canyon I was very young. In that moment my desire for journaling had vanished. I no longer wanted to sit and stare at my notebook but instead bask in the beauty that laid in front of me.

When I arrived, there were so many people there. At first, I was a bit annoyed but I remembered that its literally one of the seven natural wonders in the world and it’s like this every day. I walked a ways and climbed out on the edge away from tourists. I stood there still, not saying a word just lost in awe and thought for about 15 mins.

As I stood there, I thought about the discussion we had in my communicating nature class a few days prior about “idealized nature”. The concept that what people perceive nature or the natural environment to be over a screen isn’t always what they imagined in real life. An idea that people build up these high expectations in their minds from seeing various pop culture or “movie- myths” that at most of the time leave them disappointed. This is dangerous because it feeds into the reality and re-enforces that humans are separate from nature. It depicts humans as the superiors in an idealized backdrop for nature (Corbett 172).

-Animals in nature and the use for human capitalism and consumption-

As a kid we are taught to identify different animals, their sounds, and often at a young age we connect certain feelings and emotions towards these animals. Everything these animals represent, companies intend on exploiting and capitalizing on. Just like humans connect the color red with love and passion, we can connect animals to meanings too. We’ve all heard the saying “Stubborn as a mule”. Giving animals human like qualities helps sell a brand. Animals in ads portray stereotypes used to drive a message to the consumer. For instance, big wild cats are show in car commercials to represent power, speed, and strength (Corbett 208).

-Some other important concepts to mention-

I really enjoyed the quote from Rachel Carson in her book “Silent Spring” written in 1962. She wrote, “Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth”. A quote that depicts humanity so destructive that perhaps the earth is better off without us.

Will there be a time when humans cease to matter? If we look at the history and age of our earth, humans have only been active on it for a short amount of time compared to the entire history of existence. Since then, plants and animals have gone through life cycles. The earth has run its course through many changes. The old has gone the new has come, is that to say about the human race as well?

Do humans actually have control over the environment or is the outcome of our earth inevitable? An idea of inevitability, that earth is going to run its course regardless of our actions. I learned a beautiful word- Gaia. It means “The earth viewed as a vast self-regulating organism.” I think this is beautiful and holds a lot of hope within the human race. To think that earth has survived numerous mass extinction’s, ice ages, meteorites, I think the earth can survive the human race.

Just like the earth, humans have adapted and overcome as well. Wars, famine, disease, a global pandemic…I thought it was really beautiful the article titled “The anarchist solution to global warming” it depicted almost a utopia. The description was more about overcoming prejudices and destructive hatred and more about what we can become. It describes a concept “Biophilia” which is “humankind’s innate tendency to be attracted by other life forms and to affiliate with natural living systems” (Stop your sobbing). Edward Wilson a biologist and environmentalist believes this is the key to salvation of nature and humankind. The exact key that was described in “Anarchist…” article. This sense of biophilia was incorporated and a part of life in this utopia society. A world where it was uncommon to be wasteful. But, instead energy sufficient, mindful, and non-coercive.

This place reminds me of eden, a heaven on earth. And someday, hopefully I think well get there before we do just happen to destroy the earth if that’s even possible.

Sources used: "Communicating Nature" textbook

"Stop your sobbing article"

"An anarchist Solution to Global Warming"

word count 805

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