Friday, February 29, 2008

It's only natural.

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about nature and how to get people to value it. Seems to me that a lot of people are harping on about “the challenges of climate change” but, when push comes to shove, it’s actually a depleting resource base that bothers them, not the well-being of the world.

I don’t mean that to sound as snipey as it might.

I completely understand that there is a need for a pragmatic approach to natural resource management. It goes back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs doesn’t it? We care first about physiological needs (do I have enough water to drink); then safety (will we have enough water to fight fires and prevent toxic algal bloom outbreaks); then love/belonging; esteem and self-actualization.

Where ecosystems fit into that I’m not quite sure. If caring about rivers, biota et all, fits into the ‘self-actualization’ part of Maslow’s hierarchy, then we’re fighting a losing battle in an environment of depleting water resources.

The bottom line, as I’m fond of saying at work, is that fish don’t vote.

I’ve been doing a lot of musing about this in Carlton Gardens, the World Heritage Listed park across the road from my office in Melbourne. I’ve been grabbing half an hour each day to down a sandwich and contemplate on why a few stolen moments of tranquillity among the plane trees and white poplars, is so important to the human psyche . I guess I’m looking for ways to elevate nature up the hierarchy.

You can’t talk about spiritual needs in a government environment without being guffaw-ed at. (So lets not). And the value placed on psychological well-being diminishes next to the needs of a desperate irrigator looking for a few megalitres of water to keep his food-producing farm hanging on through another year of drought.
So, what’s to be done? I keep musing. Answers on a
postcard…

Knit news: Cast on today for a simple hat for Ben, seeing as the temp has dropped dramatically. Here's the yarn - Jet, Paton's Australia. I loved the colourway so I'm keeping it simple. Pics in Next blog.

44 comments:

belinda said...

Hi Pixen,

Although a few of us would protect nature simply because we believe in responsibility, respect and a connectedness to the natural world. For most the message only carries any weight if backed up by evidence of medium term human deprivation somewhere along the way we managed to forget that we are nature and nature is us.

The day a relaxation class starts with "imagine your are in an 8 x 10 room with wonderfully matched ikea furniture" .... is the day that I despair until then I hold out hope that at least self preservation is probably working for the things I hold in importance.

Kind Regards
Belinda

Rebecca said...

Where are you? Are you sane? Knitting? Sleeping?

Thinking of you!

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