Wednesday, 16 May 2007

The Green Man

The green man, nowadays, means the environmentally careful man—the man, in other words, who arranges nature around himself in as considerate a manner as possible; a one-eighty-degree swingabout from the older model, where the green man was Nature itself, hostile to humanity, mostly, and most of all inextinguishable. It’s sobering to think how condescending our view of Nature has become ... how fragile we consider it to be. This is a mistake; not because humanity cannot damage Nature (of course we can) but because this susceptibility to damage does not mean that Nature is feeble. On the contrary. It is far stronger than we. The most we can do is make Nature ill, but Nature can kill us. For Environmentalism to prevail amongst human cultures we will need to shuck off these sorts of blear-eyed muddle. Nature is not fragile; we’re the ones who are fragile.

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