Saint Ambrose

Saint Ambrose
Photo: Journey Worker Productions, CC SA 3.0 (C)

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Monbiot on 'ecological boredom'

George Monbiot has written a new book callled Feral on rewilding of nature and arguing that the (English) landscape we think of as nature is actually an 18-19th C construction. That fits nicely with recent scholarship on the Reformation of the Lanscape in the England/Ireland:

On the Reformation and Landscape, see:

From their site:
The Reformation of the Landscape is a richly detailed and original study of the relationship between the landscape of Britain and Ireland and the tumultuous religious changes of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It explores how the profound theological and liturgical transformations that marked the era between 1500 and 1750 both shaped, and were in turn shaped by, the places and spaces within the physical environment in which they occurred. Moving beyond churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, it investigates how the Protestant and Catholic Reformations affected perceptions and practices associated with trees, woods, springs, rocks, mountain peaks, prehistoric monuments, and other distinctive topographical features of the British Isles.

Back to George Monbiot's new work which deals with the world more or less afterwards - the 1700s onward (with occasional backward glances to the early modern and medieval periods; it does need to be complemented with the story of the reformation and the story of the growth of the modern state and its gentry class, and the growing 'Machinisation' and 'Manchesterisation' of things. At some point I will write a post on this; Ive already started one on beekeeping practice and 'hive design' as a case study to organise my thoughts on this).

This new article by him contains nuggets from the book, which is a good page turner and utterly intriguing and informative:

Here's a link to the book -

A key concept of the book is the notion of 'ecological boredom' - that some of our social and psychological problems issue from our having a body and neurology for a world of natural forests and wilds, that doesnt deal too well with being trapped in suburbia.  I thought the concept of 'ecological boredom' very worthwhile.

Check out the article (which is a decent summation of the book) and if you get it, the book.

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