Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Is This What Prince Charles Meant by 'Working in Harmony with Nature'? in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Looks at Humans' Quest for a Simpler Existence

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Is This What Prince Charles Meant by 'Working in Harmony with Nature'? in the Latest in His Series on Striking Images, Our Columnist Looks at Humans' Quest for a Simpler Existence

Article excerpt

Byline: Charles Saatchi the naked eye

HIS Royal Highness urged us to preserve Britain's rural areas, for the benefit of "our successors, particularly our grandchildren".

He emphasised that "unless we take trouble and nurture, pay our respect and reverence to nature, she's a great deal more powerful than we are".

Even if you don't always agree with Prince Charles's viewpoints, it is certainly the case that mankind and nature are jointly the most powerful forces on the planet.

Humans play an ever greater role in shaping the environment, more so than any natural phenomena. Our impact is certainly greater than volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and hurricanes combined.

We have entered a state of "human domination", something that Nobel prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen calls the "Anthropocene Epoch".

The greatest of these is of course population increase, which in turn brings about of its own manifold predicaments, such as forest removal, animal habitat loss, and agricultural chemical impact.

Most of us admire the endeavours of the WWF and Greenpeace, but some observers like Doug Tompkins argue that they have become too closely enmeshed with corporations. Instead, the billionaire has used his wealth to acquire more land than any other man in history. He has spent over PS200 million alone in buying over two million acres of wilderness in Argentina and Chile simply to preserve them.

Other individuals feel that they are playing their part for the planet's good by turning their backs on modern society, to live a more offgrid life.

For one woman this meant reducing, to the point of virtually eradicating, all wastage. Lauren Singer assessed that the average person generates over 4 pounds of rubbish per day, about 1,500 pounds a year. She realised that every small thing we do, when multiplied by the seven billion inhabitants of Earth, will increasingly ravage the environment; and she took determined measures to create a zero-waste lifestyle. …

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