“At its heart ‘wilderness’ is a value judgement.
“As poor old Hawking had to concede nothing is destroyed, it just changes appearance.
“Wilderness is an appearance which is judged by some to have a superior aesthetic to the appearance of things which have had the human hand upon them. In this respect the ‘wilderness’ issue is a small but still substantial element of the global warming debate, which has its essence in an assumption of natural superiority.
Beyond Port Lincoln, South Australia, May 12, 2007. Photographed by Jennifer Marohasy. Guided by Phil Sawyer.
“But ‘wilderness’ is more than saying that nature is superior to humanity; it is also saying only a superior human can appreciate that nature is superior. That is, no matter what sophistic context you place on the meaning of ‘wilderness’ you can never get away from the fact that an aesthetic of ‘wilderness’, and indeed nature as a whole, can only be realised from the disconnected reality of a civilised vantage point which has kept ‘wilderness’ and nature at arm’s length.
“Humans who live according to the survival dictates of ‘wilderness’ have no time for generating an aesthetic about it beyond paganest invocations. For the primitive, ‘wilderness’ would be designated out of fear rather than decadence.”
part 1 http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/000797.html
part 2 http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003015.html
part 3 http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003044.html
part 4 http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003104.html
part 5 http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/003112.html