Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill

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6 Replies to “Saturday cartoon by Ralph Underhill”

  1. The very fact that we talk about the -environment- (the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions or influences; dictionary.com) shows how centred we are on ourselves. We see the whole world as just the things that surround us! Let's stop using that word and challenge it whenever we hear it.

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    1. Whilst it is true that the words we use to describe things can colour and influence our attitudes to those things I am not convinced that the word 'environment' is really guilty of this crime. We do need a handy word to describe 'the world out there and all the stuff in it' and unless you can suggest a better one I am happy to carry on using 'environment'.

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        1. 'Nature' is a fine word and one that I am very happy to see used widely but if I follow your suggestion and look up definitions in dictionary.com I find that both words have several alternative definitions. For example one definition of 'nature' is "the material world, especially as surrounding humankind and existing independently of human activities" which you might object to as looking at it from a human perspective. On the other hand one of the definitions of 'environment' is given as "Ecology. the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time." which is completely devoid of reference to humanity.
          I can't see that one word is more problematic than the other and either can be used to perfectly good effect (and both can be abused by careless or dishonest writers). To my mind, if we want to get to grips with the problems faced by the living world there are many more important things to do than outlawing this word or that.

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  2. I eagerly await publication and my copy of "The Accidental Species: Misunderstandings of Human Evolution" by Henry Gee (all good interweb warehouses) which I have ordered as an antidote to the nausea brought on by Brian Cox's "The Human Universe"

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  3. The DoE and most governments and councils see 'the environment' as a man-made entity that needs controlling, developing and exploiting. It includes housing estates, new roads and quarries. I have often been frustrated by this perception gap when trying to appeal on natural environment concerns

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