Sunday, 29 January 2012


as time passes
i come more and more to loathe the e-word
the 'environment'
along with its derivative 'environmentalist'
words that evoke dull kill-joys
bleating on about climate change
and carbon emissions targets
the word has developed an irritating dry technocratic nuance
and as if that wasn't enough
the world and his wife have usurped the term
which has been co-opted into 'environmental services'
encompassing anything from pest control to rubbish collection and incineration
it is the other
something separate from us
to be subjugated
converted into money
or at best used for human recreation
thus 'nature' might perhaps be a better word
even though its derivative 'naturalist' is problematic for obvious reasons
nature seems to me to evoke more connection
more intimacy
less separateness
a view of humanity in relationship with other species
'mother nature'
another word that springs to mind is 'wilderness'
here the connotation is different again
the concept that there are places and creatures worth protecting
in an unsullied pristeen state
spaces that should remain untouched by the human hand
or the cult of modernity
which sees so much virtue in the shiny, the new, the technological
the jungle habitat of the great apes
the temperate forests of southern chile
the mountain haunts of the snow leopard
these places are long gone from england
few and far between across the globe
as modernity encroaches further and further
spreading like an epidemic
fed by its billions of advocates and acolytes
who care more for its ephemeral shiny new toys
which make their tamed existences meaningful
than for the world's last wildernesses

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