Cultural Updates

Resources for a Conservation Management Curriculum

web hosting  

Social progress
Curricula of 'heart'
Virtual museums

  No Data Yet

    No Data Yet


1 World Development Framework 

'Three centuries ago, the English philosopher Francis Bacon sounded the battle cry of a "New Science" based on "the power and dominion of the human race over the universe." "We must put nature to the rack," Bacon proclaimed, "and compel her to answer our questions." It was a prophetic metaphor, one that would become more telling as the new science begat new technologies, which in turn begat industrial development.


Science has indeed wrested much information from nature since the time of Bacon, and industrial development has used much of that information to the benefit of us all. But we have accomplished these feats and gained these benefits at a great price. By setting ourselves up as the interrogators and manipulators of nature, we have lost our sense of oneness with the rest of the natural world-with plants and animals, mountains and forests, rivers and seas. We have accumulated more information about these things than in any previous era of human history, but we have forgotten what is perhaps most important-that plants and animals, mountains and forests, rivers and seas are all parts of the one planet on which we too draw our breath as natural beings.


The excesses of industrial development have led many conservationists to the conclusion that they must "save the planet" by separating undisturbed natural areas from human threats and pressures. As a protest movement, this "museum science" approach to conservation has been both necessary and effective in raising public awareness of the dangers that industrial development poses to the environment. But as a long-term policy it will not work, and for a simple reason. By defining itself as a reaction to the excesses of traditional economic development, traditional conservation enters the game on development's terms.

Traditional development separates humankind from nature with the aim of exploiting the latter for the benefit of the former; traditional conservation accepts that separation with the aim of protecting nature from human exploitation. "Conquer nature" and "Save the planet" are flip sides of the same fundamental flaw'.



Design downloaded from free website templates.