Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Nature: the youngsters will blow it! Really?

From EcoEgg and The Guardian:

Video games compete with outdoor activity. This is expected to lead to less interest in nature and more difficulty in raising public awareness for conservation.

I have a few questions. Yes we hike less, camp less and fish less. Maybe, we spend less time in the outdoors (will have to verify this for Africa though). That this will translate into apathy is a bit too much:

  • Will people only value things that they can physically experience? What about the idea of existence value?

  • What about the trend towards higher environmental awareness?

  • What about the power of connectivity? Social networking? The contagious effect of a message such as 'cool to be green'?

Non consumptive values such as recreation does not tell the whole picture. We experience negative ecological feedback with larger consequences and on increasing scales then a few decades ago. It is likely that the incentive to conserve will not come from our physical interaction with nature only (sure it helps, and it does help for a lot of other things as well, and I will bring my kids to such places), but from a far more pressing necessity.

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