The Preservation of the Wild Nature Essay

Today, the problem of the environmental protection and the preservation of the wild nature is one of the primary concerns because the devastating impact of human activities on nature has already led to the global climate change and warming. Environmental problems have a considerable impact on the life of people because they urge people to change their traditional activity, threaten to the public health and raise a bunch of other problems that ultimately have a negative impact on the quality of living. In such a situation, human-wilderness relations become pivotal because people cannot remain negligent to their environment anymore. in this regard, it is possible to refer to The Trouble with Wilderness by Wallace Stegner, where the author reveals the importance of the environment protection and places emphasis on the preservation of wilderness as the place which is free of human devastating impact. Stegner argues that people should have an opportunity to stay in wilderness, where they can change their activities and worldview completely. Wilderness gives people a chance to develop a different, alternative perspective on their life, world around them, and their personal philosophy. At the same time, William Cronon in his article The Trouble with Wilderness suggests changing the traditional view on wilderness. The author argues that the conventional view on wilderness has become obsolete. Instead, people should view wilderness not just as a space free of human presence but as something other that should not necessarily be associated with humans. Nevertheless, both authors agree that the preservation of wilderness is pivotal and essential and people should develop the positive human-nature relationship, to respect nature and to minimize their footprint for the sake of the preservation of the unique nature which is not just a mere subject to human possession or non-possession but it is the wild nature that accompanies humans all the time and, as Roderick Nash points out, people change their attitude to nature in the course of the development of their civilization.

Roderick Nash conducted the study of views of people on wilderness and reveals profound changes that occurred to people in the course of their development and their perception of their natural environment. Initially, people viewed themselves as a part of their natural environment or a part of wilderness. They succumbed to the power of nature. However, in the course of the development of human civilization, people have started to change their attitude to their natural environment or wilderness. They started to confront the wilderness and viewed it as the enemy which prevented humans from the development of human civilization and making their life comfortable. Now people have made wilderness extinct and there is the strong juxtaposition between urbanized human civilization and wilderness. Nash claims that the current level of the development of human civilization threatens to wilderness and to the mankind because of the devastating impact of humans on nature (Nash xi. As wilderness becomes extinct, there is the direct threat to the survival of the mankind and life of the Earth. This is why the author gives implications to possible changes in the perspective and attitude of people to wilderness on the ground of the historical experience of people and their relations with wilderness. Therefore, Nash stands for the protection of the wilderness and changes of human attitude to their natural environment for the sake of the preservation of natural environment and wilderness as it is (Nash xii).  The position of Nash concerning wilderness is pro-environmentalist. At the same time, he reveals an important fact that the view of people on wilderness was not static. Instead, the view of people on wilderness was dynamic and changed as human society and culture changed. Moreover, Nash argues that wilderness was social construct: “Evidence that civilization created wilderness is found in the attitudes of the so-called Indians that the European settlers found in the New World” (Nash xiii). The change in the perception of wilderness contributed to changes in the attitude of people to nature.

Wallace Stegner suggests that the wilderness is rather the space free of human presence and human impact and he insists on the necessity of the preservation of the wilderness (Stegner 2). Wallace Stegner argues that the contemporary society develops the inaccurate view on wilderness. As a rule, people view wilderness as a part of their recreation. The author rejects such attitude to wilderness because, according to him, wilderness is much greater than a mere place, where people can do skiing, fishing or whatever (Stegner 2). They cannot just go into wilderness for some recreational activities. Instead, they should be aware that wilderness is a part of the world, where people live. Stegner implies that wilderness is “an intangible and spiritual resource” (Stegner 1). This is why people should take care of the place, where they live that means they should take care of wilderness. The lack of attention and care about wilderness and their consumerist attitude to wilderness as the recreational zone leads to the destruction of the natural environment and its steady decline that also leads to the decline of the mankind.

William Cronon develops the idea of the change of the concept of wilderness since he suggests view nature not as a wilderness but as the respect to otherness (Cronon 9). Cronon challenges the dominant view on wilderness and attempts to persuade his audience that people should change their traditional perception of wilderness (Cronon 11). To put it more precisely, the author holds the premise that the current view of people on wilderness is extremely biased. In this regard, his idea of the biased perception of wilderness by people today correlates to Nash’s idea of the changing attitude of people to nature because of changes of the role of people and nature and their changing relations. Cronon reveals the fact that the current perspective on wilderness is anthropocentric. People cannot view nature or wilderness without putting human in the center of human-nature relationships. The author argues that people cannot think of nature without humans. Instead, nature can exist independently of human. Therefore, Cronon suggests that people have to learn the concept of otherness of nature, which people have to respect: “Learning to honor the wild – learning to remember and acknowledge the autonomy of the other-means striving for critical self-consciousness in all of our action” (Cronon 25). Humans do not represent nature or confront nature. There are humans and there is nature. Humans may be a part of nature but they cannot perceive nature as the object of human activities. Instead, they should view it as other that can exist regardless of humans and their activities. Wilderness existed and probably will exist in the future. However, the author warns against risks associated with the current overwhelming impact of humans on wilderness. The preservation of wilderness is the responsibility of people because they interfere into the world which does not belong them solely. Hence, they should preserve the environment and elaborate effective policies that can minimize the negative impact of people on their environment. On the other hand, the primary task defined by Cronon is the change of the view of people on wilderness because this is the first step which will ultimately lead people to the change of their policies and attitude to wilderness. In other words, people need to change their idea of wilderness first and only after that change they will be able to change their attitude to and relationships with nature.

Thus, wilderness is a part of the world, where people live but people view it as a mere object for the satisfaction of their needs and wants, while their activities lead to the destruction of wilderness and irrevocable changes. In such a situation, Stegner and Cronon argue that people should change their attitude to wilderness and conduct responsible policies with regard to nature. People should finally understand that the preservation of environment is important for themselves above all. In this regard, the experience of past generations, as described by Nash, may be helpful to change current human-wilderness relations.

Works Cited:

Cronon, William. The Trouble with wilderness, Norton Reader.  New York: Routledge. 2014.

Nash, Roderick. Wilderness. New York: Random House, 2012.

Stegner, Wallace. Wwilderness letter, Norton Reader.  New York: Routledge. 2014.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: December 10, 2022]
close
Haven't found the right essay?
Get an expert to write you the one you need!
print

Professional writers and researchers

quotes

Sources and citation are provided

clock

3 hour delivery

person