Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Videophilia trounces biophilia, tune in for details...

Biophilia, Edward O. Wilson's label for our innate love of nature, as we express it through nature-based recreation activities, is losing ground to videophilia, the growing electronic media obsession shackling today's couch-bound youth. Parents are not far behind: Multi-media homes offer glowing media for every purpose and for all ages (this blog, for example) without those stubborn grass stains.

Conservation scientists released new findings confirming this prevalent suspicion, February 4, in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Authors Oliver, Pergams, and Zaradic present their new findings in Evidence for a fundamental and pervasive shift away from nature-based recreation. The title serves well as abstract for the larger article.

The Internet, movie rentals, general television programming, and video games are the clear winners over bird feeders, local woodlots, local parks, state parks, national parks, and maybe even the American backyard!

Our youth are participating in electronic relationships, developing electronic personae, constructing cyber-environments, and above all else, fighting cyber-wars: So much for old fashioned Capture the Flag: I'll bet there's an electronic version for couch-potatoes.

I'm certain biophilia is innate. I'm equally certain youth need heavy doses of direct hands-on nature to develop nature-based values. Biophilia is a seeding in need of sunshine. Adopt your local woodlot, visit your local parks, take your family and friends geocaching to get that techno-fix from your GPS receiver! Appreciation for nature, particularly biodiversity, rises from personal experience.

“My works are the issue of pure and simple experience, who is the one true mistress.”
Leonardo da Vinci

No comments: