I am behind in my New York Times reading. I just got to the editorial piece in last Monday’s edition. Verlyn Klinkenborg writes about The 17 Percent Problem and the Perils of Domestication. She quotes a recent Science Magazine article, noting that by 1995, ‘only 17% of the world’s land area had escaped direct influence by humans.’ Her point is that we, all humans are taking the wrong approach. We are trying to domesticate nature, not adjust to it. Our egos have led us to believe that we can run the show, that we are superior to nature, when in fact it is not so. And we are starting to pay the price.
What does that mean on a personal level? How do I contribute to this domestication of nature? I cannot think of anything I am doing that is directly contributing. Rather, it is my lack of awareness, and political action, that make me a part of the problem. Also, by subscribing to a modern lifestyle of convenience and consumerism, I feed indirectly all the industrial processes that destroy nature. Only 17% left of nature to give us precious feedback. Like Verlyn Klinkenborg, I am appalled by the amount of destruction, the damage we have done as humans.