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YES! Magazine asks, What Would Nature Do?

   /   Jan 24th, 2013Environment, International, Magazine

In the latest YES Magazine (“What Would Nature Do?”) the natural world takes center stage.  Questions such as, how much is enough?  Can new designs come from nature itself?  Can we start to think of nature as alive, as a holder of rights much like ourselves?

Sven Eberliein writes:

Viewing nature as a source of ideas—rather than merely a source of goods—has a lengthy history among indigenous people. But Western industrial culture had mostly relegated such inquiry to the realm of obscure academic research.

Activist Vandana Shiva looks at what is wrong with our idea of growth and how the answers to sustainability are not locked in boardrooms or annual reports, but in the forest.

Today, at a time of multiple crises intensified by globalization, we need to move away from the paradigm of nature as dead matter. We need to move to an ecological paradigm, and for this, the best teacher is nature herself.

She draws from the noted (and much loved) Bengali poet and philosopher Rabindranath Tagore

In his essay “Tapovan” (Forest of Purity), Tagore writes: “Indian civilization has been distinctive in locating its source of regeneration, material and intellectual, in the forest, not the city. India’s best ideas have come where man was in communion with trees and rivers and lakes, away from the crowds. The peace of the forest has helped the intellectual evolution of man. The culture of the forest has fueled the culture of Indian society. The culture that has arisen from the forest has been influenced by the diverse processes of renewal of life, which are always at play in the forest, varying from species to species, from season to season, in sight and sound and smell. The unifying principle of life in diversity, of democratic pluralism, thus became the principle of Indian civilization.”

But this isn’t limited to the Indian borders. The lessons of nature are global, she says

The forest teaches us enoughness: as a principle of equity, how to enjoy the gifts of nature without exploitation and accumulation.

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