My old friend Helen Klebesadel created this vision of “Nature Rising” in watercolor. “In this painting,” she explains, “the flying crow contains the forest trees, representing the interconnection of all parts of nature, including the human element.”
We humans tend to forget that we do not stand above and outside of nature, but are intricately interwoven within it. This winter the northern jet stream weakened to leave us shivering in temperatures that should have remained in the Arctic, and the rest of the country has experienced horrific storms, floods, and wildfires all year long. These disturbing events have left me worried over whether enough species will be able to adapt to climate change for nature itself to survive.
There is a newly popular term, “The Anthropocene,” indicating this epoch (following the Pleistocene) when humans have overwhelmingly influenced the planet. It carries an “aren’t we awful” connotation, casting a gloomy light upon our culpability and the possible demise of our own species along with all of the others.
Several years ago, I made the (internet) acquaintance of Claude Forthomme, an Eco-Fiction writer, economist, and a retired Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia of Food and Agriculture at the United Nations. She is Senior Editor at Impakter, a European online magazine where she has published several of my articles.
I spend a frozen January writing an Impakter review of three books about nature’s awe-inspiring intricate particulars and a fourth about human culpability and anthropocentric doom .
Here is my review, with my take on whether human beings or nature will be the greatest planetary influence in the years to come: