This post is also available in: Dutch.
Every last Saturday of the month there is a book sale where one can buy books for next to nothing. Since I’m pretty addicted to books I am a fairly regular customer.
Last time I came across a book called “Geef om de natuur” (care about nature), which attracted my eye like a magnet because of our innate love of nature. It turned out to be a book from the World Wildlife Fund, and I would like to share parts of the epilogue, written by the then Secretary of the World Wildlife Fund – Netherlands, J.H. Westermann, with you. The year was 1977:
The ones that have read this book “are – if this had not already happened – faced with many issues of an ominous character. In our world it essentially comes down to being or nonbeing. The decision about this will probably be reached in the near future. This decision applies both to our own survival and that of those fascinating, valuable and irreplaceable ecological communities of climate, soil, plants and animals, provided those – one more, another somewhat less impacted – are still in existence on earth.”
“Our whole life, no matter how one looks at it – technically, economically, socially, culturally, politically or ethically – is essentially dependent on balanced or unbalanced interactions between human society and nature in all its dimensions. If this ratio is not right, if humans misbehave in relation to nature and act as oppressors, exploiters and destroyers, a better society will remain an absolute illusion. ”
“It all must be about a reversal in thinking and action, and about existence from an ecological rather than economic point of view. This is a task that is extremely difficult. We live in an anthropocentric, materialistic and also divided world. ”
“We are all co-actors in a world drama. To change this drama into a comedy with a “happy ending” the following is required: understanding and willingness to better manage and preserve the possessions of the earth. ”
What really bothers me is, that those words, which were put on paper 35 years ago, apparently have not resulted in the action that was called for. What’s wrong with us? We know that something is wrong, we know that we are collectively making a mess of things, we know that there are many unacceptable species extinctions due to our actions, we know that our children are suffering from a “nature deficit disorder“, we know even what should change. But we do not apply our knowledge ……