Shiva, Gould, Environment, ecology, gaia
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Metaphors of Nature
Shiva and Gould
“We need not only new knowledge, but also new metaphors…evolving from the old machine idea that we have been accustomed to using for the past 200 years.” (Botkin, 28)
Facts provide a basis for science, but a narrative integrates facts with knowing how to behave in response to the facts. A metaphor provides a visual narrative of sorts, a way of seeing things in view of the narrative.
Like husband and wife living as “one flesh,” as diverse and equal, so too humanity and nature are inseparable though different.
Nature as Prakriti is characterized by:
Shiva: From Mater to Matter
Nature as Prakriti:
Continuous with Humanity
Nature as environment and resource:
1) infertile without humanity
4) separated from humanity
“The Ecological Crisis is, at its root, the death of the feminine principle, symbolically….”
“We are virtually powerless over the earth at our planet’s own geological time scale. All the megatonnage in our nuclear arsenals yield but one ten-thousandth the power of the asteroid that might have triggered the Cretaceous mass…” (Gould, 31)
‘Each species to a greater or lesser degree modifies its environment to optimize its reproduction rate. Gaia follows from this by being the sum total of all of these modifications and by the fact that all species are connected, for the production of gases, food and waste removal, however circuitously, to all others. (120, Lovelock)
Sum: Gaia is harmed by climate change insofar as humanity is a life and life is part of Gaia.
Humanity is not meaningful UNLESS we view ourselves as part of something greater: our earth and its relationship to everything else in our system, galaxy, and universe.