On Outdoor Experience and Environmental Values
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/ ... more-36833
...Yesterday’s post on “The Role of Values in Driving Climate Disputes” prompted reactions from a variety of people, including Richard Louv, the author of “Last Child in the Woods” and “The Nature Principle.”
Louv expanded on the importance of experience in the non-built world (that thing called “nature”) as a path toward forging a passion to conserve it. It struck me as a useful “Your Dot” contribution. (I’ve added some contextual links.) He started by agreeing with comments I’ve made on the limits of science journalism, particularly these days, then continued:
That’s one piece of the pie. Another aspect of the devaluing of nature is, as we’ve discussed before, the disconnection of children from direct contact with the natural world. Such direct contact doesn’t guarantee environmental values (see Rick Perry’s boyhood), but several studies show that early contact with nature — particularly in the form of self-directed play (see Nancy Wells’ studies) — is pretty much a requirement for long-term, positive environmental values. The generational disconnection began long ago, but has accelerated over the past three decades. The falling poll numbers related to environmental values may have something to do with that.