chapter  7
19 Pages

The consumption of nature

ByRobert Crocker

Nature, for many, has become a restorative image, seen on a page or screen heavily edited and managed by commercial interests. The global acceleration of the exploitation of all kinds of resources – whether legal or illegal – to meet a expanding demand, sits within a radically different moral, political and technological landscape from that of the sixties. The momentum of this demand, enhanced by the scale, speed, and technological reach of 'harvesting' corporations or interested traders – whether 'legal' or 'illegal' – continually confounds the best laid plans of governments and intergovernmental agencies. Despite all the goodwill of international organizations and governments, it seems nothing can resist the global vortex of consumerist demand. The problem is a collective and global one, and individual choice in consumption might be well intentioned, but cannot provide a real solution. Every culture, on attaining prosperity, brings to the global table its own idea of what morsels from the environment are the most desirable.