Posted: Friday, June 8, 2012 5:36:16 AM
We hold more significance in today’s era than dinosaurs did during the Mesozoic Era – which, seeing as “Mesozoic Era” can be directly translated to the Age of Dinosaurs, is quite a lot. Scientists have concluded that the world is now shaped by the activities of our 7 billion and exponentially expanding population, more so than from any other independent geological factor. In light of this, some argue that we are now living in an era that is unlike any that has come before– the Anthropocene.
The Anthropocene, or the Age of Man, was coined fairly recently, as our effects on Mother Nature are fast becoming apparent in present day. So fast, in fact, that “Nature” has become an abstract concept for many of today’s teens. Soothing rainstorms are being replaced by websites like RainyMood, where a recorded storm can be played at anytime and anywhere. There are “hiking” functions available on treadmills for those who wish to enjoy a nice, refreshing thirty minute excursion. Some houses even have fake fireplaces installed, where a safe digital fire is kept stoked by paying the electricity bill every month.
What’s not to like?, advocators of the Anthropocene might ask. And not without good reason. Technological supplements for nature are usually much safer for us and are far more accessible, which helps squeeze “nature” into our increasingly busy lives. But is it really nature that we are creating?
It seems to me that all we have done in our Anthropocenial era is twist an imitation of nature into a consumer-sized, easy-to-reach product while destroying the real thing to produce them. Those who have actually gone hiking in the woods or felt the heat of a campfire on their face knows such cheap electronic imitations cannot even compare to reality. But sadly, such experiences seem to be disappearing in the face of convenient replacements.
Thomas Edison, the great inventor himself has said, “Until a man duplicates a blade of grass, Nature can laugh at his so-called scientific knowledge. Remedies from chemicals will never stand in favorable comparison with the products of Nature, the living cell of a plant, the final result of the rays of the sun, the mother of all life.”
So sure, technology might be cool and convenient, but it isn’t nature. It can never even hope to give us the peace and balance Mother Nature offers, nor can it be as real. That’s why, as the next generation, we must protect nature and true wildlife – if not because we care, then simply because we will never be able to create anything as good as what we already have.