I got my first rather large paper back from NHV and I got an A-! A freaking A-! I’ve never gotten a grade that good. That, combined with my 13/15’s for most of the response papers means that I not only should pass NHV, but I should get something around an A…hopefully.
Here’s my award winning paper:
The three most important views of nature are the great machine, the Eden of God, and the drive-through window. The great machine view of nature sees the world full of opportunities to profit. Nature is full of energy and civilization has developed a variety of methods and devices to harvest that energy. Water can be used to power mills, consumables can be burned to create electricity, and the land can be exploited to provide consumer goods. This is a good view of nature because it encourages society to use what nature has to evolve humanity. It also enforces the fact that nature is a strong force and not one to be argued with.
However, nature is already a perfectly tuned machine and if we intervene too much, we risk throwing a wrench in the gears and causing a massive cascade failure that could eventually lead to the destruction of the entire world as we know it. Professor Suzanne Moon highlighted this possibility in her presentation on Nature and the Moral Lens. Professor Moon uses the British occupation of Saint Helena as an example: In 1659, the British setup a permanent settlement on Saint Helena. They began to cut down trees, clear the land, plant crops, and raise cattle. However, shortly thereafter, the winds of the Atlantic began to kick up and massive soil erosion occurred. This devastated the island and made it literally unusable. The British had completely revamped the island and in doing so, took away the islandï¿½s natural shield from the wind.
The Eden of God view purports that nature is Godï¿½s creation on earth and we should not change with it. Instead, we should enjoy it and interact with it; taking long walks on the beach, hiking in forests, and skiing on the mountains. Thoreau expertly explains ï¿½the art of Walkingï¿½[as] sauntering: which word is beautifully derived ï¿½from idle people who roved about the country, in the Middle Ages, and asked charity, under pretence of going ï¿½ la Sainte Terre,ï¿½ to the Holy Land, a Saunterer, – a Holy Lander. ï¿½ In one sentence, Thoreau explains and inexorably ties the simple act of walking and God together.
However, do not, under any circumstances alter what God has created for God is perfect and if you tamper with his work: be prepared to reap the consequences. Montrie touches on this subject, using factories as the primary example. There was a certain bliss attained when working in nature. The work may not have proceeded as fast or efficiently as compared to factory work, however the women often complained about ï¿½routine confinement among clattering machinery and noxious lamp smoke. ï¿½ As it turned out, working in such confinement for such long periods with little or no ventilation caused a plethora of health problems, Godï¿½s revenge if you will.
The final view of nature is the drive-though window. This view designates nature as a type of theme park. The people know it is there, but often complain that it is too far away and they do not particularly have a strong urge to walk. Professor Gianquitto touched on this point exclusively in National Parks: Myth, Metaphor, and Reality. Using Abbey as a prime example, Gianquitto asserts that in an effort to increase usage of National Parks, the government is destroying its simplicity. Gone are the days of unpaved roads, trails bound only by logs put by Scout Troop 459, and no stores for 100 miles in each direction.
With the invention of the automobile, the government decided it was best to put roads in so that everyone can enjoy wonderful outdoors, all without having to leave the comfort of their five mile to the gallon, thirty foot RV. Perhaps the coup de gras is the fact that the roads end up being loops, returning the user to the place where they started: the gas station. Visitors end up cycling through the Parks like the pickup window at McDonalds.
Perhaps the most worrisome aspect about the drive-through window view is how accurately it predicts human behavior and the positive reinforcement it provides. As more ï¿½conveniencesï¿½ are produced, the people will become more and more lazy, previous example being the point-in-case. Society as a whole becomes more and more lazy; and we develop better and better ways to become even lazier. Were Abbey still alive today, he no doubt would suggest that society would become so lazy that they will cease to visit the Parks in person, resorting to remote viewing technologies, such as the Internet, instead. What is all too sad is the sudden realization that this is already true. Right now, any person with an Internet connection can log on to a web site in Texas and shoot wild game, right from the computer. The owners will then ship your prize straight to your front door. Abbey was dead on when he suggests drastic changes to the current way National Parks operate. Abbeyï¿½s suggestions are nothing sort of a complete reversal of course. He wants to get rid of the motor vehicles, at least vehicles driven by tourists. Abbey also proposes that all plans to build new roads to stop. Instead, he envisions using the money to help build trails, shelters, and watering holes. Finally, Abbey wants all park Rangers to return to their original jobs, ranging the parks, leading trips, and showing people how to make a fire in the rain [66-68]. Imagine what would happen if we were to expand Abbeyï¿½s concepts to all of society.
Note: This paper uses informal accreditation of sources. If you want to know what the sources are, shoot me an email