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Nature's impact on humanity has changed significantly over the centuries. Traditionally, a community embraced its relationship with nature and respected it. Gods were attributed to acting as nature's forces, and tributes were made in nature's honor. However, a substantial change in this relationship between Mother Nature and society occurred during the Industrial Revolution, a time when people interacted with nature unlike they had ever before. How do western nations view nature now? How does this contrast with traditional views? Are there places that still hold traditional views of nature, just as Western Europe did previous to the Industrial Revolution?


Traditional Western View of Mother Nature Edit

Nature was treated as a living thing, so the community lived with nature and not off of it. These communities lived without exploiting nature by conserving resources and focusing on stability rather than maximizing productivity. This relationship shared between nature and westurn culture was referred to by one author as a "symbiotic character of humans and nature" [2].


Change in View of Mother Nature Edit

There was a notable change when nature became a "commodity," as it was referred to by Carol Merchant. Western civilization saw this around the Industrial Revolution, a point when the people started living differently. Nature came to be seen as a commodity, "dead and inert," a term used by Merchant. A majority of the population moved into or around cities, so the work they performed changed. Instead of farming or living with nature, they started living off it as they began producing commodities. In addition, the economy moved from its reliance on renewable sources of energy to nonrenewable sources of energy. This was notable as it people began "poisoning" the Earth by pollution [1].


Other Edit

Native Americans also held similar views, despite not being part of "Western culture." Some communities in developing countries still can claim holding traditional views of nature, similar to those of Western nations in past centuries.


Sources Edit

[1] Merchant, C. (1992). Radical Ecology. New York: Routledge.

[2] http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v7/n5/full/7400693.html

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