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what is "nature"?

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Feb. 11th, 2009 | 11:51 pm

Currently one of my favorite stories from Britain from above is Norfolk Broads. At first it looks like a fairly ordinary natural wetlands, except it was created by ancient peat-bog miners stripping out enough peat to hit the water table. More recently the water was getting too polluted by agricultural run off, so instead of just living with the constant algae blooms they dredged the lakes, and and started growing algae eating fleas.

The result is birds and complex plants have returned to the ecosystem.

But is it a natural ecosystem? It was created by humans hundreds to thousands of years ago, it was then damaged by modern humans who then fixed it.

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Comments {4}

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from: aerynvale
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)

I think one might say that 'nature' is the ability to form an ecosystem in a given circumstance.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 05:59 pm (UTC)

That's a good definition, although it leaves open the question should any particular ecosystem be valued more than another? Is a lake filled with algae better or worse than a lake filled with fish, frogs, and turtles? (They're both probably filled with insects).

One the things I liked about the story is it showed that humans are part of the natural world.

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from: aerynvale
date: Feb. 12th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)

I suppose something is better or worse depending on what you want to accomplish. I mean, even if an ecosystem gets overbalanced and destroyed, a new one will rise to take its place if it's left alone. That's just how life goes.

One could argue that human beings are the only ones who care. As far as other forms of life go, the thing they care most about is just living. If the environment is good for them to keep the species going, they're happy, you know?

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nature vs People

from: dilinger
date: Feb. 23rd, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)

Hmmm. I suppose I don't fully understand the question. But in either case I would like to share.

Humans spend alot time trying to kill pest. I myself don't like to kill things, but I do. (Long story) In either case If I recognize a danger. (define danger really) example Black widows. I have grown up to think of them as being dangerous but I think only like 2% of people die from a BW bite. But I kill them because I don't want my kids getting bit. I don't want to get bit either but I am more concenred for my kids.

Likewise I ask the question if I lived someplace were there were poisionous snakes would I go out of my way to eradicate them? In the high desert there are tons of ants. Some people live with them and others spend 100s to make them go away for a time then spend 100s when the come back. You can't really eradicate them.

Then there was an argument over avian deaths due to sky scrappers with glass windows. How does a sky scraper affect its enviroment, how does city sprawl impact? Are we meant to live like Hobits? I suppose we can't really have large populations with that sprawl or sky scrappers.

Ok last input will be about reefs. You have natual reefs and you have man made reefs. Is one better then the other. I suppose I would rather there be a reef then not. I would reather have other animals and birds then just a lake with algea. (unless those birds and animals want to eat me or my kids)

Enough said. (maybe too much.

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