How Important Is Nature in Society? Essay Sample
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How Important Is Nature in Society? Essay Sample
Our British society, which is growing evermore materialistic, is becoming more and more insistent on disregarding its reliance on nature in favour of celebrating technology. As our manipulation of nature is now quite apparent, our relationship with it has become indirect; but it is still very much existent and of extreme importance, however much we fail to admit it. This essay will explore the extents of which we manipulate nature and how it has become a vital tool to fuel our comfortable lifestyles while the public continue to show a general disregard towards it.
As we began to veer away from our rural lives orientated by natural daylight in favour of developing technology, we have now reached a stage of being independent of the seasons. Instead, we use artificial light to optimise our working hours, and have found ourselves sacrificing the extra hours of sleep that industrialists would probably have had. We also use artificial heating, so the transition between warm and cold weather is less noticeable; we are now more likely to switch on the heating in autumn than putting on an extra few layers of clothing.
In relation to providing food for our society, we now have greenhouses, and other artificial farming techniques, along with importing foods which would not normally be available all year round. Through our self-centred efforts to increase our own comfort, it’s as if we have said to nature, ‘we like some aspects of you, so we’ll exploit your benefits enough to meet our own high standards of comfort.’ In order to maximise the efficiency of our working lives and increase the comfort in our spare time, we have begun to disregard nature’s importance completely. And why should we, as it only keeps us alive, provides us with our food and the majority of our other resources? We also forget the benefits nature does for our health, because material things which improve one’s social status are of a much higher importance. Obviously.
Pre-industrial/renaissance times would have seen the small scale existence of apothecaries, selling herbal remedies to cure diseases and optimise health. Many of today’s public may actually struggle to think of the methods used before the large scale, efficient, mechanised pharmaceutical industry we have become very used to. The industrial revolution, full of inventions and discoveries, provided us with the means to produce masses of chemical based medicines using factory machines: another attempt to pull away from the natural world. Without the need to consult an expert for the smaller illnesses while pharmacy chains popped up all over the country, or without needing to concoct a traditional remedy, we led ourselves into an efficient business-like age, with health improving all the time.
However, some may not even consider the influence that nature still has on our medical treatments. For example ginger, a natural ingredient, improves digestion, eases muscle pain and decreases fatigue. In our man made remedies we almost replicate the properties of natural sources using chemicals, often disregarding the usefulness of the natural ingredients. In regards to ginger, we have created treatments like stimulants which mimic the capabilities of the herbal source. Another way nature influences our health is how it can optimise it: spending plenty of time in fresh air and exercising can keep a man healthy. However, the modern person seems to prefer to wait until illness comes then depend on a tablet to solve the issue as opposed to keeping themselves healthy in the first place, due to ‘lack of’ time to spare or realisation of nature’s simplest benefits. It seems we have become so alienated from our roots that people have begun to treat nature as a luxury facility rather than a necessity.
A city resident nowadays, for example, would ‘rarely have the time’ to go out and appreciate nature. They may go to an art gallery and admire paintings of the world surrounding them but they would scarcely go out and notice/experience it themselves. A bike ride through the country is no longer a regular pastime; with many substituting the exercise aspect for the gym, or the travel aspect for cars and public transport; without even realising the disregard this shows towards the beauty of nature and the benefits of something as simple as its fresh air. We may go on a country walk as a ‘one-off’ or a boat trip ‘every so often’, implying that to us, nature is seen as a facility for leisure, not an essential, not something that can keep up with the other important aspects ruling our lives.
However, there are associations like the National Trust which celebrates features of British nature. It protects many historical parks full of beautiful greenery, which in other places we are more than willing to just chop right down. It is important to notice though, that the fact the National Trust has to protect nature emphasises how we treat nature as a luxury/leisure facility, and as the Trust also opens its features up to the public on occasion (sometimes even making money out of it) we are starting to treat nature as a possession which isn’t necessarily ours.
Not only do we admire nature on rare occasions and from afar, we also ‘belittle’ nature’s importance and capabilities. The message the nature just ‘cannot keep up’ is one that we as Britons often send out. For example, we are intent on finding environmentally friendly and renewable forms of obtaining energy; so have created wind turbine – large man-made structures which tarnish the landscapes, and actually manipulate the natural source using our ‘brilliant’ technology until it is satisfactory enough to meet our inflating standards.
We celebrate things man made, our wonderful technological breakthroughs and our optimisation of efficiency over the beauty of nature and all it provides us with. Maybe as no one can put their name to it, (other than ‘God’) or maybe because it is not enough to fuel our comfortable lifestyles when left alone. We have become obsessed with making things ‘better’, constantly trying to improve everything we know, as if nothing is ever enough. We have never been forced to halt our improvements; natural disasters have only led us to build technology to protect us from it, global warming is just being ignored until it actually causes danger to our lives.
To conclude, although our extreme manipulation of nature increases our general disregard towards it, and ‘saving’ the environment has become more of a social craze than well considered actions, it is essential to realise the great reliance we still have upon nature. We continually try to show off our ‘power’ over nature and everything in the world, but we must understand that it is us who depend on nature- we cannot function without it, so we must begin to appreciate all it provides us with before we ruin it and ourselves.