Running thoughts: People and Nature

People and Nature

When I started out this blog I wanted to address Nature as a separate (but not necessarily a sentient being) from people (I would have preferred ‘Man’ but it would not be consistent with the video). I hoped (idealistically) that we could establish a sort of balance between Nature and people in the form of respect and sustainable development. But in this video, Nature, well, doesn’t care what people does. Apparently, nature could adapt to all the terrible things we throw at it and we would only be harming ourselves in the end.

The link between Nature and people in this video is extremely interesting to me. At first, I thought it suggested that Nature and people are separate as 1. Nature does not need people and 2. People’s actions would ultimately affect people. But it seems that the actions of people would impact Nature which in turn impacts people, therefore Nature and people have to be connected.

Perhaps the video meant that Nature can be affected by people but it would not ‘die’ and ultimately it is people that would drive themselves to extinction. Does this mean that it is a one way link between people and Nature where “People ->Nature -> People” as compared to “People -> People” without Nature?

Reading the comments

There are some pretty interesting comments which I would just collate and summarize briefly.

1. Mother Nature needs people too.
2. People do not need Mother Nature.
3. Mother Nature sounds pretty arrogant.
4. “Species greater than you”?

‘Need’ and ‘depends on’

This is where it gets really confusing for me. I chose to use ‘need’ and ‘depends on’ based on my understanding of these word and phrase though they may not be accurate. After some searches on the internet I thought of replacing ‘need’ with ‘rely on’ but as the video used the word ‘need’ I decided it would be clearer to use it for this post.

Back to my point, I feel that people need Nature for survival and our survival depends on Nature. Nature, however, does not need people to survive but its survival could depend on people. There might be a slight possibility for people to completely obliterate Nature or ‘kill it’ in a sense. If we polluted the Earth or thin the ozone enough until the Earth ends up like Mars or Venus then Nature could be considered ‘dead’. But I am unsure of how likely this would occur and some comments pointed out that microscopic organisms would still be able to survive in the most hostile of environments. Even if Nature survives and evolves, without people to observe it, it does not really matter to people does it?

Nice try, ‘Mother Nature’

A couple of people argued that people do not need Nature and gave some credit to the video for trying to scare us as is the case for every other environmental video. They felt that technology in the future would allow us to live independent of Nature. I did explore how technology is taking over traditional roles of animals and plants in a previous post. In the end, there is only so much technology can do. Even if we put a blind faith in technology to sustain us, how long would it take for technology to reach that level? If it takes too long, is there a plan B?

You think you’re so great?

This is mostly an extension of the previous paragraph where the people who argued that we do not need Nature felt that the Nature in the video came off as arrogant. To me, Julia Roberts does sounds pretty cold and even slightly arrogant. Mother Nature is portrayed to be all-powerful and the lives of every living being depends on her. When we use the phrase ‘Mother Nature’, I would expect the Nature depicted to be nurturing but this video straight up shows how uncaring Nature is of people. It also seems to suggest that Nature is a greater and powerful being that people can never live without. Such proclamation of power always leads to people to doubt if this is true.

Then again, this video gives Nature a voice but the voice  does not belong to Nature. Nature is not sentient. Rather, the Nature in the video expresses the opinions of the humans who made the video and this video is a warning from humans to humans. Caring is something human and it would be more accurate to say that Nature cannot ‘care’.

What greater species?

These comments are pretty…interesting. It was mentioned in the video that Mother Nature has fed and starved species greater than us which led to some comments wondering how dinosaurs could ever considered greater than humans, if aliens exist or if there were more intelligent and sentient beings before humans. I wonder what the video creators actually meant by ‘greater species’. Are they referring to species physically larger and more powerful than us or species more intelligent? It might be the former and perhaps they felt that those species ‘starved’ (extinct?) were more majestic than people.

Nature doesn’t need People, People need Nature

This phrase is true though that there might be a tiny possibility that people could actually kill off nature entirely. People do not realize how much we depend on nature just because they live among cement buildings and metal devices, where food and water ‘magically’ appear in markets and from taps. We should all learn how Nature affects us and appreciate how interconnected us and Nature are.

However, this video shifts the focus of conservation from Nature to people which I feel might be a little misleading. By depicting Nature as something ‘unbeatable’, it might send the message that we only need to maintain our survival regardless of how we change Nature. I personally want to preserve Nature as it is without any major changes simply because it is beautiful and it seems very selfish for people to do as they please.

Then again, this video shows a different way of viewing Nature and people which would also help in conservation. When people realize that the consequences of our actions will eventually come around and kick us from behind they might be more motivated to take action. In the end, it does not matter if Nature needs people, but it is certain for now that people need Nature. There is no better time to start taking action to ensure our future than the present.

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