Reply To: October 6: Science and Potery

Author Replies # Posted on October 6, 2014 at 14:48

The poem I brought to class is the following

De zomer neemt afscheid
de bomen verkleuren
het wordt herfst en winter
onnodig te treuren
jaargetijden zijn net
als het leven
van mensen en dieren
het wordt terug gegeven
Een verdord blad
vergaan op de grond
de Ziel van de mens die
zijn thuis weer vond
dezelfde kringloop is
ze beschoren
een blad groeit weer aan
en een kind wordt geboren

It compares the changing of the seasons to the birth of a new born. It’s Dutch and it draws similarities between the climate and the Netherlands and the state of one soul, especially winter and fall being a depressing time. I think it shows some of the Dutch outlook on the climate and environment, and show an inability to be excited about these, unless it is spring or summer. This kind of interaction with nature shows a sort of idea about nature, that it is more or less to serve us. The Dutch are more occupied with water than other elements within the environment. I think in many cases it is seen that the Dutch do not appreciate the nature, unless it is there to serve us.

When reading Midgley and the Gaia hypothesis there are certainly some implications that I read. The Gaia hypothesis sounds reasonable to a scholar as me, with fairly little knowledge about the details of this hypothesis. Thinking about it seems to me it has two important implications. Te obvious one being that organisms automatically take care of certain levels in nature, all by themselves, such as the salinity in the ocean, and that humans have an effect on these levels, but that these organisms counteract these effects. However the other implication, and maybe the one more plausible one is that humans are such an organism, which is supposed to regulate the natural levels, however, we are the only organism with a different mind, a mind that has other occupations rather than just taking care of natural levels. The human mind is one that is more occupied with surviving among humans, and money for example. Now the questions become, can the other organisms carry the weight of the humans not counteract the change in those natural levels or not. I think that one way which helps, and gives at least a bit of hope for us, is that people need to become aware they are such an organism, and we are not the only dependent on the human, but also on all the other organisms, only whose don’t need convincing, we just have to make sure we don’t kill them.