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The Forum > General Discussion > When will we 'get back to nature' in Australia?

When will we 'get back to nature' in Australia?

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Many in Australia have become so anthropocentric - that they believe humans are the central or most significant species on the planet and they therefore also apply this attitude to the natural world.

What these people don't realise is that as human beings we are dependant on the natural world - for water, soils for our crops and the insects that polinate them, the trees that give us shade and the beaches that we can walk upon - where we can rest and relax.

Yet constantly governments and people across Australia are destroying our environment as if it a right to do so.

See this inspiring youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbwA20A38fs - and put your views forward. You might even change your mind.
Posted by NathanJ, Tuesday, 16 September 2014 2:31:21 PM
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Yes Nathan, it is absolutely mind-boggling in this day and age that we havenít got our heads around the absolute imperative of developing a sustainable society, instead of just so blatant and strongly continuing on with the same old rapid-expansionist future-destroying mentality.

If there is one thing that we need to do beyond all others, it is collectively get ourselves together regarding a sustainable future, and MAKE our politicians and political system DO IT!

I went for an all-day hike yesterday, covering many kilometres of wonderful wild country and spectacular granite coast. Great birds, botany, and Aboriginal art sites, all within an easy day trip from Townsville. I need to be doing this sort of thing very frequently, or else Iíll go completely bonkers (instead of just being half bonkers!!)

Just a note on that Kangaroo Island vid: very good, except that it is a pity it was accompanied by the sounds of kelp gulls, which are feral in Australia and didnít show the Kangaroo Island kangaroo, which is unique to KI, or any of the endemic plants species that occur there on the western part of the island in Flinders Chase NP. But still a great little Ďfilmí.
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 8:44:18 AM
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Ludwig,

Pleased to hear you are getting about.

Have you tried lightweight bushwalking as well, overnight or a few days say? Improvements in technology made lightweight forays quite safe for those with experience. One of our standing jokes is that we become even more lightweight by losing a few kilos in the process.

There are places you can go where it is safe to leave the vehicle and kit and take off for a time. Although my preference for remote, 'wild' areas means a solo excursion, while the solo camper back at camp enjoys her splendid peace, art and craft.
Posted by onthebeach, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 9:37:11 AM
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I don't think the problem is being anthropocentric. If you genuinely believed that humans are the central or most significant species on the planet, then it would be obvious that you would look after the natural world for the reason given - that the future of humans depends on the natural world.

I think the problem is personal greed - believing that you (or your class - people like you) personally, right now, deserve everything and to hell with everyone else, now or in the future.

The lead article in today's Forum, in En Passant: "We need system change to stop climate change" sums it up.

I love Kangaroo Island, been there many times. But the only reason its natural beauty survives is that it is marginal for supporting human life and doesn't have economically useful minerals or timber etc. - Aboriginal people couldn't make a go of it after the island was formed ca 5000 years ago, and the attempt at closer settlement in the C20th through soldier settlement was a disaster (Jean Nunn 1981 Soldier Settlers War Service Land Settlement Kangaroo Island).

Kangaroo Island's natural values will be OK, the real challenge is to save and conserve places that are 'valuable' in terms of minerals, timber etc. or, more basically, to change the system as described in En Passant. But will a film of the beauties of KI help in this cause?
Posted by Cossomby, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 10:14:33 AM
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Cossomby,

The majority of people in Australia - don't connect with our environment. They don't respect it.

For example, our current lifestyle is destroying our natural environment - something we are part of - but so many people (who are animals) place themselves 'above and beyond' other parts of our natural world.

Visit: http://theconversation.com/australian-waters-polluted-by-harmful-tiny-plastics-20790 . This highlights some of the impacts people are causing. But we can't wait for the government all of the time - positive action at all levels is a lot better.

We need good education campaigns to show that all living creatures need a 'clean and green' society to exist. By sending a strong message to people in a more commercial society (like the link I suggested) - I believe we can win people over and change their minds.
Posted by NathanJ, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 11:12:34 AM
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In pre-industrial societies people traditionally
treated nature with respect, considering
themselves a part of, rather than set apart from, the
natural world.

In industrialised societies our attitude is
different. It seems that many see nature
primarily as a resource for exploitation. As our "needs"
increase, our capacity for exploitation expands. Many people
don't seem to see our ravaging of the environment as
"ravaging" at all; it is "progress" or "development."
We are so used to exploiting natural resources and
dumping our waste products into the environment that we
frequently forget that resources are limited and
exhaustible and that pollution can disrupt the
ecological balance on which our survival depends.

Over the past quarter century, pollution of the
environment has begun to threaten the ecological balance
of the planet and the health of many of its species,
including ourselves.

However, the pollution problem is an exceedingly difficult
one to solve, for several reasons.

Some people and governments see pollution as a regrettable
but inevitable by product of desired economic development -
"Where there's smoke there's jobs."

Control of pollution requires international co-ordination,
for one country's emissions or pesticides can end up in
other countries' air or food.

The effects of pollution may not show up for many years,
so severe environmental damage can occur with little
public awareness that it is taking place.

Finally, preventing or correcting pollution can be costly,
technically complex, and sometimes - when the damatge is
irreversible - impossible.

In general, the most industrialised nations are now
actively trying to limit the effects of pollution, but
the less developed societies are more concerned with
economic growth, and tend to see pollution as part of
the price they have to pay for it.

When will our country take a more active role in getting
back to treating nature with respect? Sadly,it's not looking good
with the current government.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 17 September 2014 11:23:28 AM
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