This concluding set of readings offers final insight into how we, as humans in a changing climate, can negotiate with ourselves to find our true place in nature. Each material elaborates on the ever-discussed concept of untouched nature and wildness among human manipulation, ultimately fueling my personal conclusion that humans are a part of nature as much as any species, thus our actions are “natural” in some sense. 

Marris’s TED Talk was almost a reflection on our coursework to this point. Her stance that we’ve changed everything, even the air is reminiscent of early discussions in our class, while her point that it takes a lot of effort to make nature look untouched reminds me of Pollan’s words on the effort we put into wild landscaping. One of her concluding thoughts that “untouched nature is unloved nature” brings a new dynamic into the human place in nature argument. If we are not allowed to touch or manipulate the world around us, what makes us want to fight for it? We must be able to experience nature in every way in order to defend it.

I identified most with Jack Turner’s piece because of his healthy dose of cynicism. His argument around the museum and Disney-like quality of national parks “not providing sanctuary  from human artifice” resonated with me as it was a well-founded and supported observation. However unmanicured they may seem, the environments that we appreciate in national parks are falsified. The author comments that these environments are simply too controlled to be wild. He meets these concerns by defining what wildness is, a land that is self-willed and able to maintain order according to its own principles. This profound definition finally offered me a solidified way to view potentially wild spaces. Among the many injustices that humans impose and Turner elaborates on, he offers his final argument that we need to first understand why we have decided that we have ownership and precedence over other species, in an effort to find a solution. Then, we need to design and maintain a new conservation ethic that revolves around wildness. Turner’s solutions, while not without their faults of being grandiose and nearly unattainable, offer the reader some optimism-something we have rarely come across in this course. Turner fails to fully recognize that man has touched nearly every edge of the earth, but still forms solidified arguments that can stand against many of our previous readings and fill me with a more comprehensive understanding of my own place in the natural world.

Johns’s piece felt less content rich and more fragmented than the other materials. However, I appreciated his final argument that humans are behaving like a slow asteroid to the earth and his questioning of the greater purpose of our species. I found it slightly disheartening that after pages of debunking common nature/man relationship assumptions, he declared that none of it matters. Of course I agree in some sense, we can question and ponder in our higher education institution what it really means to be in nature, apart of nature, and destroy nature, but what can we actually do? Here, we can take Turner’s argument one step further and say that we need to fully assess what made humans decide that they’re superior and then decide how we can move forward. In our everyday lives, we can improve our impact on the planet in a myriad of ways. Small steps may not fix even one horrendous thing we have done to eliminate species, warm the planet, and cause sea level rise, but by informing others about these small changes-maybe we can. These authors may disagree with that, but I’m afraid it’s all we can do.

Written on May 3rd, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

04/26/17

Jackie Goodwin

Second Nature is a humorous account of the author’s own experiences of maneuvering his relationship with nature through keeping a garden. As a reader of Pollan’s books, I was expecting to sense the upper class, elite white male complex that I typically do in his work, but failed to see that in Second Nature. Instead, Pollan writes what many Americans have experienced in gardening with an ounce of sarcasm and casualness. He laments the traditional American obsession with lawns by attempting to connect with his neighbors as if to say, “I am a conscientious homeowner. I share your middle class values” (61), yet ponders certain rebellion regarding the traditional maintenance of his lawn. In discussing the history of his land and journey to gardening, Pollan is able to effectively communicate what his place in nature is, while taking the reader for a ride through his life’s fumbles and moments of discovery.

Pollan openly discusses the crude relationship that Americans have with the land, specifically through land ownership. He writes that we often have a “skewed” relationship to nature by thinking that our lawns exhibit the natural setting, even though they’re constantly doused in chemicals and manipulated. Here, Pollan explains with historical evidence and a strong opinion exactly what I’ve needed answered throughout our course. I’ve yearned to hear a first hand account of someone working through their relationship with nature, knowing as much as we do. He openly uses his experiences to educate the reader on our their hypocrisy, while explaining why it harms the planet morally and physically. Pollan uses gardens as a way to “meet halfway” between the perfect manicuring of lawns and wildness. It increases one’s awareness of the natural world in a more give and take relationship, as opposed to the dictatorship that is meticulous mowing and landscaping.

Throughout the book, Pollan debunks common misconceptions about what nature and wildness truly are, tieing into much of what we’ve already discussed in class. He does this very well when speaking about weeds and how they are often seen as wild and “in the wrong place”. He counters this by arguing that weeds are just as cultivated as any other plant. Their placement is often not wild, but once the result of man’s impact. Instead, he writes that wilderness is a taboo in our culture and further drives a wedge between us and nature. Pollan follows this pattern consistently throughout Second Nature, exploring a common phenomenon in man’s relationship to land and quickly showing its faults. This style of writing held my attention well and contributed to the overall success of this book.

Pollan’s journey of self-reflection in relationship to the natural world, specifically how we manipulate it, has encouraged me to think about my own relationship with nature. I appreciate Pollan’s perspective more than the romantic authors we have read, including Thoreau and Abbey. Pollan is more honest about his faults and hypocrisy in becoming a steward of the land, whereas Thoreau and the like place themselves on pedestals, expecting a level of respect for their sacrifices and immersion in the natural world. Pollan tells a relatable story that I can personally identify with, as I’ve always had a fascination with gardens. My parents never gardened, but my grandparents had a small and respectable garden at their home in Washington. Loaded with fresh vegetables and strawberries, I loved watching them tend tirelessly to these plants who depended on my grandparents’ care to thrive. As I move forward in my own life, I see myself experiencing an introduction to gardening similar to that of Pollan’s, likely starting with pest management as he describes with his pesky woodchuck and experiencing many certain failures along the way.

Written on April 26th, 2017 , Uncategorized

04/11/17

Jackie Goodwin

This week’s collection of readings branch far beyond what we have discussed previously in this course. In looking at how humans are beginning to manipulate the environment through advanced technology, it’s becoming more clear that our ethics revolve purely around ourselves, not what would be beneficial to the planet. Meyer’s central argument in The End of the Wild is similarly cynical to my own perspective, and draws on Bill McKibben’s concepts in The End of Nature. Meyer enforces that there is no untouched landscape in nature, nothing that has evaded man’s impact. “What separates the Brazilian rainforest from New York’s Adirondack Forest Preserve from Manhattan’s Central Park is only a matter of degree” (9). He argues that the fuel behind degradation is twofold, as our deliberate efforts to protect and manage life infringe on nature’s rights as much as our disregard for the natural environment. While some may see these arguments as hollow, I found it validating to read a passionate piece that vehemently shows how man’s impact on the world is linear with no linear solution. Meyer’s acknowledgement of developing countries added a layer to his argument that I found to be extremely important and often overlooked in writing of this nature. Amidst the mention of a few western influenced projects in Africa and Latin America to “fix” what has gone wrong in the environment, he discusses how climate change and economic globalization have accelerated these issues for the developing world. He does argue that this is not just a problem caused by the world’s wealthy, something I could refute with ease as it is the exploitation of these developing countries at the hands of the western world that contribute to many pollution issues. India and China are following suit according to how the United States prospered-how can we deny them that right? I would have appreciated a more in depth analysis from Meyer in this section.

The discussion on extinct species and geoengineering came up quite frequently in the materials for this week, posing an interesting moral question to environmentalists. I have always argued against GMO’s purely because their existence is against what nature intended. However, if man is diminishing species by ruining their habitats and creating an unsuitable landscape for them, man has already intervened, so isn’t it at his hands to resolve it?  I found the Monbiot argument largely superficial. While I agree that it is in man’s best interest to be highly exposed to the natural world in any form-city parks, a small garden, blue skies- “rewilding” is simply a concept that I cannot accept. His “ecological boredom” is only proof that the world cannot give him what he thinks he desires. By further altering these systems, we are only showing the generations to come that anything can be manipulated, that we can play God. I feel similarly for the geoengineering argument and that of Brand’s stance. If we transplant extinct species into the common goat, we are playing God. We are encouraging animal suffering and perpetuating a system that is not and can never be sustainable. The Hamilton example of ocean fertilization was a simpler example of this notion that we can manipulate the environment to alter our effects, but proved how easily ripple effects can take place that cause harm to other areas of a functional ecosystem. In short, we have done enough to exhaust every being on this earth. To attempt to go back in time and bring back extinct species will only tell the wrong story to our children. It is no question that we have devastated the planet. But in bringing back species and geoengineering the world around us, it will not become more natural. We will not revert back to a desirable state, meanwhile the effects of climate change, ongoing resource extraction, ocean acidification, and events of disaster will persist.

Written on April 12th, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

04/5/17

 

Urban Wilderness is almost an oxymoron at first glance-how could cities, the most densely populated and fastest growing areas of world simultaneously possess the wildness of lush jungles and forests? Yet, Frederick Law Olmsted built a career by engaging the city with nature and creating spaces that serve an incredible array of needs. Author Anne Winston Spirn explores Olmsted’s work in, “Constructing Nature: The Work of Frederick Law Olmsted”, and ultimately argues that his legacy urgently needs to be reclaimed. She draws on a few of Olmsted’s projects to illustrate how his successes and failures can aid in illuminating the future of landscape architecture. This careful analysis is critical for the field of landscape architecture, specifically in urban settings. As society progresses into the impending effects of climate change, it is clear that adaptation is needed. This has been an ongoing process in many cities that are using parks as a form of mediation for climate change related extreme rain events. In Copenhagen for example, carefully constructed green spaces are being used to absorb and redirect water for more tangible uses, including recreation and supporting dense flora. While Olmsted’s work was clearly not in anticipation of climate change, this author describes him as creating spaces that were natural for health benefits and accessible to all, directly coinciding with many of the social reasons for these projects in Copenhagen and around the world.

This author uses Fens and the Riverway of Boston to show Olmsted’s process of developing an area around the city for nature. While the main focus was for Olmsted to bring wilderness to a population that would otherwise not be able to experience it and its many health benefits, he in turn organized the land to serve many other needs of the city including public transport and water treatment. Although the area succeeded for over a decade, the project ultimately failed due to the construction of the Charles River Dam. Spirn wrote, “..within ten years the marshy landscape looked as if it had always been there” (107). The goal had been reached, they had aspired for constructed nature to look natural and here it was overgrown and functioning as if it had been there forever. Spirn ultimately speaks to a downfall of Olmsted’s perspective on landscape architecture, including his desire to conceal the constructed essence of the spaces. Is it not more beneficial to construct spaces and then educate local dwellers on the impact of this created space? Wouldn’t that connect them better to the land instead of perpetuating a farce? Or, would it make them less likely to treat it well and respect it, knowing that man could just create another. This relationship to nature is imperative when studying the long term implications of landscape architecture and local residents.

Spirn concludes this piece with a stronger focus on Olmsted’s legacy, insisting that all land is constructed but it is not only this. Created lands are beneficial in their own way and in a sense, many of Olmsted’s projects still live up to his own goals and standards. In becoming more densely populated and moving to cities, we have needed green space to keep ourselves sane and connected to something larger than our bubbles. Olmsted’s legacy has lived on and evolved to include the many green parks and respected urban spaces of today. As someone extremely interested in this interactions and form of environmental architecture, I see Olmsted as a hero and pioneer in this timeless field.

Written on April 5th, 2017 , Uncategorized

 

Jackie Goodwin

Restoration: The Band-Aid for Responsibility

In man’s pursuit to extract resources and mediate subsequent damage, he has caused even more atrocities to the once “natural” landscape. Environmental restoration is often posed in a glorified light, returning the landscape to its once grand splendor. Alternatively, restoration projects have caused more adverse effects than positive ones, as displayed by the Shore and Mills readings. Beyond the moral implications of altering a landscape so frequently, as Katz explores, we are causing more damage and ultimately setting ourselves up for ineffective policy. These readings present refuting arguments and ultimately lead to the conclusion that restoration is a band-aid that allows humans to feel a falsified passion for the planet without assuming real responsibility.

The Mills piece uses hatcheries as an example of restoration that keeps dams and salmon populations vital-both for human consumption. While ultimately every stage of the salmon’s life is controlled, the moral implications of this severe of a human alteration is not considered by the “restorers”. While we need electricity and we desire tasty salmon, going to such lengths to achieve both is essentially the GMO conversation. How far are we willing to go to alter the world around us and tweak it for what we think we need? Mills concludes the piece by stating that we humans do not feel the pain of ecosystems that hurt and we always try to heal them too late. Thus, these failures of restoration are in the hands of all who “benefit” from the impacts of this duality. For Mills, if restoration is not the answer, what is?

Jordan speaks of how humans can maintain an intelligent and respectful manipulation of the earth through something as holistic as gardening. He agrees with McKibben that there are no untouched landscapes but denounces him for his “gloomy and destructive” views that paralyze human progress. Jordan encourages an ongoing dialogue with nature, but in an extremely sheltered and ignorant way. He mentions Packard, validating his expertise through his work revitalizing the forests of Chicago, the very project debunked by Shore. Together, they see restoration as a performance art where man and nature are merged, leading to a “new ritual tradition” of mending the land. Jordan and Packard neglect to acknowledge that restoration should not be a cyclical part of man’s interaction with the land, nor has it even proven itself to be remotely useful in the forest and salmon examples. Instead, we must mediate our actions before causing the harm that ultimately needs restoring.  

Katz offers a new perspective on restoration, proposing that we have a misguided view of man’s role in nature and therefore in the restoration process we create “artifacts” that are the band-aid fix, as that cannot be respected or valued as much as the previous form. His comparison to forgery of art is reminiscent of the Scott piece, where the redesign of the forest is clearly unwarranted and only led to further erosion and biodiversity loss-while beautiful and productive for resource purposes. One of Katz’s final points is that by going through the restorative process we put ourselves above nature. We believe it is ours to shape and abuse, but we are only hurting ourselves in that process. Katz provides sound evidence and passion for his claims, as he explores his own “visceral reactions” to environmental restoration.

Written on March 8th, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

03/1/17

Jackie Goodwin

Whether it be for recreational or monetary gain, it is no secret that man has feverently attempted to manipulate the environment to be something of value to him. This week’s authors discuss various ways in which man has altered the world around him, from resource extraction to the attempted extermination an insect. Buhs and Scott fail to form a solidified opinion around the topics at hand, while our heroine Plumwood takes a firm stance on animal rights after her near death crocodile experience. Here we can explore how the management of pests and forests differs from the management of the spaces of predators through assumed ownership. Man takes ownership of environmental areas and expects them to remain safe for our use and exploitation. Plumwood saw this on the flipside, where she entered the more untamed and unprotected space of the crocodile and suffered consequences at the hand of nature.

What is most interesting to me in Scott’s chapter is the discussion on measurement. Using the initial “a stone’s throw” and “a handful” were highly subjective forms of measurement and based entirely on each individual person. The fascinating part here is that man used his own body to quantify nature. Even a bushel, something now weighed and specifically quantified, varied by geographic area in its initial conception. While these commodities needed ways to be measured for selling, it is interesting that man felt this ownership over something that he took from a space, with only primitive ownership of it.

Scott’s piece on forest management offers a full history on the process of redesigning forests to be more accessible for man to extract timber. What seems mathematical and almost ingenious concluded by making an even more fragile and vulnerable ecosystem. Here, man desired a product from a space, and thus declared ownership over it. The animals and plants who were later replaced by monoculture had no say in the redevelopment of this space, yet they arguably had the most right to the land. Controlling nature in this scenario resulted in the destruction of it for decades to come. Although strong in fundamental information, Scott fails to take a true stance on any of these issues. He presents facts and provides evidence to argue that these systems were not as successful as initially thought, but offers no alternative solutions.

Buhs discusses the battling approaches to fire ants in North America and provides, like Scott, an unsettling history of their rise and subsequent management practices. His strengths lie in solid reporting on the altering perspectives, but he fails to present a formal opinion on the matter. As a reader, it is easy to agree with both sides as the evidence is presented equally and with proper verification. To this day humans are suffering the ramifications of the pesticides used on the ants, yet the ants still exist. The ants were not aware of their infiltration on agricultural lands, they simply inhabited a space and took ownership of it just as humans would.

Alternatively, Plumwood entered the space of crocodiles and claimed to say that she deserved the attack because of this and vehemently argued that the crocodile should not be killed. Iin entering the crocodile’s space, she held a false sense of security. However minute, she thought she had an ownership over the space and thus abused it as the men did in the forest and in turn, becomes the fire ant.

Written on March 1st, 2017 , Uncategorized

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/02/mariana-trench-pollution-pacific-ocean-chemicals/

Written on February 15th, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

02/15/17

Jackie Goodwin

In studying the most talented nature writers, it becomes clear that there is a romantic or transcendental sense in the relationship man has with nature. Thankfully, in Uncommon Ground, Cronon debunks the work of these men by arguing that they only perpetuate an unrealistic perception of wilderness, as these places are not completely untouched. Nearly in alignment with Bill McKibben’s argument that there is nothing truly natural left, Cronon enters the debate proclaiming that this desire for solace in a “natural” place that is perhaps a national park is impossible because of the imprint Native Americans have left on the land, one that European descendents were taught to forget. While these native people sustained themselves off the land, elite colonialists pushed them away and insisted on designating areas of sanctuary for the white, rich men. Thoreau’s land is not as untouched as he may have thought and McKibben’s argument should not begin with the alteration of our planet through carbon, but rather through man’s development as a consumer of the land.

Globalization has warranted many incredible developments in human history, but it is not without its downfalls. When colonialism struck the Americas and Africa, it brought with it disease, violence, and dominance. Charles Mann speaks to this by discussing that more than half of the crops grown today originated in the Americas, meaning that their seeds were brought across borders. Not only did this improve agriculture and account for varied diets in singular ecosystems, but created the very unnatural process of transferring what was meant to be grown in a particular place. The further development of maize in the Americas caused an enormous population boom in Africa, which ultimately made the slave trade possible. This constant exchange of people and plants is utterly invasive. The Europeans were an invasive species in the Americas and used Native American techniques and seeds for farming to perpetuate their invasions in other areas of the world, such as in Africa.

Cronon writes, “The dream of an unworked natural landscape is very much the fantasy of people who have never themselves had to work the land to make a living-urban folk whose food comes from a supermarket or a restaurant instead of a field..” (80). This collection was written in 1996, closer to McKibben’s work than Thoreau’s and with the same dose of cynicism. Cronan brings many important topics to light, but this fails to address many present day phenomena. Ever more present on this campus is the need to make an association with the food we eat. We study it in academia, we practice it at the farm, and we embody it in our cafeteria. There is an amount of privilege associated with eating locally now, or at least being aware of the fact that you are. What used to be a fact of life for the Native Americans is now achieved through wealth and knowledge. We have therefore further removed ourselves from the “natural” world, as our attempt to revert back to these organic agricultural practices is only in response to the overwhelming productivity of factory farms.

As conversations persist on projects such as the Dakota Access Pipeline, it is imperative to remember that this is not the first time that the white man has dictated what should happen to sacred land. Yes, there are certain measurable dangers to water systems should the pipeline be implemented, but people have been altering our land for as long as they have been alive. We can call it a case of environmental racism or further disgrace of minorities in this country, but the overarching fact is that this is not new, and behavior is unlikely to change. If the earth is ruined anyway by carbon and consumerism, what does one more pipeline really do? Would Cronon chalk this up to one more incident of attempting to preserve a wilderness that is already gone, or a further violation of Native American rights?

Written on February 15th, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

02/08/2017

Jackie Goodwin

 

Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature is a harsh cry for activism, although it feels like a futile attempt when checking the publishing date of 1989. While there is more data and climate science surrounding the true implications of man’s effects on the planet, little political progress and human behavior change has occurred, hurtling us towards the impending doom McKibben explores in the late 80’s. His argument that there is no inch on earth untouched by man’s pollution is extraordinarily valid, as he writes of the destruction man has caused due to a reliance on fossil fuels. Using Carson, Muir, Thoreau, and Abbey’s perspectives on both science and the feeling of being in nature, McKibben brings what is now common knowledge among environmental scholars into the conversation. With anecdotes scattered among snapshots of scientific discoveries and various political summits on the matter, McKibben paints a bleak future for mankind, with a sprinkle of hope in the last few pages. Almost 30 years later, it is painful to think of the carnage we have since caused and the few advances that we have made.

“…we’ve reconciled ourselves to the idea that we’ll not be the first up any hill…”, McKibben states, as he explores how the end of nature is rooted somewhat in the idea that there are few unchartered territories left on this earth (54). While there is some validity in this, what does it matter if Katahdin is full of eager hikers in the summer? If the end of nature is near, shouldn’t we be enjoying these spaces that do still have some sense of holding us far away from modernity? McKibben moves on to argue that man feels attached to that natural world because of its sense of permanence-that is, it came before us and it will outlive us. Using Muir as an example to evoke the religious perspective of the natural world, I wonder why McKibben is not using this opportunity to harp on the notion that nature is no longer permanent. While we can immerse ourselves in the woods for a day, we still must face the reality that mankind is outliving many of these spaces-forests, coral reefs, even entire islands.  

McKibben himself had to be reminded by a friend who had one too many close encounters with a bear that sometimes man is not at the top of the foodchain. In the wildness the world may still possess, while there maybe effects of our selfishness that cannot be seen with the naked eye that are impacting that ecosystem, man can still be overtaken. By Gaia or God, nature still has power. In some cases, man gives nature that power. By altering our atmosphere, we are changing the weather patterns that wreak havoc on communities around the globe, overtaking man. By putting toxic chemicals and synthetic pesticides on our crops, we are giving nature the power to overtake man. But in a few trace amount of cases, nature can persist. It is to this string that I will cling until we have no chances left.

McKibben began to find some light at the end of The End of Nature. His small sacrifices of biking instead of driving, gardening instead of shopping, and canceling his plans for a hot tub may seem minor, but even to be aware of his impact is a huge step compared to most consumers. His brief discussion on genetic engineering is not only terrifying but again means that we must acknowledge the true end of nature as we know it. Even beyond this, it means that humans would have to put even less effort into living a more conservative lifestyle. Is that not more detrimental to the planet, if we solve the problem but don’t teach a lesson?

Written on February 8th, 2017 , Uncategorized

ENST 406

02/01/2017

Jackie Goodwin

It is no question that when immersed in an environment of fresh flora and fauna, the common man can feel rejuvenated and at ease, perhaps his most comfortable self. Authors Thoreau, Abbey, and Muir elaborate on their experiences in the natural world through colorful descriptions and tales of adventure. Howard Zahniser’s piece, “The Need for Wilderness Area” provides almost a prescription for the former writers to work from. Thoreau is often held in high esteem as a man of the woods, but his work, “Where I Lived and What I Lived for” is sheltered in comparison to the exhilaration experienced by both Abbey and Muir. Ultimately, these two authors are characteristic of true immersion in nature, valuing both the positive and negative-most likely due to their encounters with fear.

Howard Zahniser argues that the wilderness man needs is in the depths of our national parks, where humanity is tested as man must fight for his own survival among the elements. Using nature as a way to “escape” does not at all align with the true reasons one should be alongside the earth’s most raw form, nor do these men reap the full benefits of the natural world. He argues that man is sustained “…by a wildness that must always be renewed from a living wilderness” and that immersing oneself in wilderness has historic, educational, and scientific value. John Muir and Edward Abbey both fully embrace the unpredictability and harness the fear that wildness offers, as described by Zahniser.

At Yosemite, John Muir acknowledges and accepts the danger associated with fully burying himself in nature. In his goal to “dwell with them [mountains]”, he encounters precarious cliffs and wildlife that made him vow “not to venture any further, but did nevertheless”. This drive to be exhilarated by the sights of nature and by one’s own accomplishments in achieving this state is perhaps filling the spiritual drive to be near nature. One cannot possibly not walk away from a quick hike in wilderness feeling fully content, for he lacks the instillation of fear of the natural world. He instead walks away from wildness with an enlightenment that only those vowing not to move forward and do, completely experience.

Edward Abbey’s account of life on the Colorado River was raw and without boundaries. As “cuts the bloody cord” and pushes off into the river, he truly has time to explore his own belief that “wilderness is a necessity of human spirit”. This is not due to his deep walks into Eden, enchantment of echoes, or the music of wilderness, but because of his more chaotic experiences that maintained his interest and pushed him further into the depths of wildness. Once he survived the first spasm of the river, the whitewater that would surely flip their “Made-In-Japan vessels”, there was no way he could revert back to floating without seeking a more fearful and adrenaline inducing experience. The jarring finale to Abbey’s experience of the sign warning him of the dam ahead reaffirms Zahniser’s argument that “the idea of wilderness as an area without man’s influence if man’s own concept”.

While Abbey and Muir face blood pumping interactions with nature’s true form-an unruly, unprocessed, and coarse reality, Thoreau sits in the woods, occasionally walking around Walden Pond. Thoreau’s experience with wilderness is not at all wild, but veiled by the most romantic notions of sunny skies and green grass. Man’s motivation to reap the benefits of an experience in nature is then not driven by one’s desire to take a hike, but in anticipation of life threatening realities that evoke a primal instinct for survival. Adventure then, is the process of seeking these brief moments of hazard with Gaia and emerging a stronger man.

Written on February 1st, 2017 , Uncategorized

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ENST 406 Senior Seminar

Understanding the Human Place in Nature — Spring 2017