4 Our place in nature

The big question of sustainability is how we might break free of the notion that we are the dominators of a brute, blind, material world of nature into an idea that leads us to restore some sense of ourselves as natural creatures, living in harmony with nature, while also retaining our distinctive identity as cultural beings dependent on Earth's planetary economy. A petroleum-free, no-growth economic future is not a sufficiently viable basis for a positive vision to achieve a sustainable society. Awareness of our place in nature is essential.

"Nature is the ultimate source of our inspiration, of our sense of belonging, of our hope that life will survive long after we are gone. In order to realize this hope, we must learn to regard the planet as sacred." David Suzuki.


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C.D. Friedrich, 'Sea of Ice', 1823-4