Without Nature, The Children Suffer

Without Nature, The Children Suffer
WE COME ALIVE FOR WHAT WE hold near and dear. It's hard to be impassioned for a cause which feels remote.

Charities know this. It's why they bring impoverished third world villagers, or cancer suffers, into our lounge room, via the telly: if they can make us connect with the issue, we are more inclined to support it.

Environmental activists are emboldened to speak up because they perceive they are about to lose something. Something they truly, deeply connect with.

"In wildness is the preservation of the world." With these few words, American philosopher, Henry David Thoreau, succinctly captured humanity's fate. Nature is unruly, untamed. But it is also our future.

Yet we so often talk of 'The Environment' as if it exists elsewhere else, a distant entity that humankind is not connected to. A naughty, wild child, whom we might put in a room and close the door on, for a bit of 'time out'.

We may have disconnected from nature, but we are delusional if we think we can live without it. Ignoring the value and contribution of nature to our well being is, quite literally, life threatening.

But ignoring is exactly what we're doing. In his seminal 2005 book, Last Child in the Woods, author Richard Louv, gave this ignorance a term: Nature Deficit Disorder. While not a medically recognised condition, there is an ever expanding body of work which supports Louv's central theme: that deprivation of a relationship with nature…
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