On Outdoor Experience and Environmental Values

Discussions of the non-monetary values of nature. A majority of people think nature’s benefits for people are very important and most want the value of those benefits calculated in terms other than monetary.

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edfrank
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On Outdoor Experience and Environmental Values

Post by edfrank » Thu Sep 01, 2011 3:29 pm

September 1, 2011, 10:39 am
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.
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"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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