Why do many people long for nature? Why do you need to protect them?
Things to note
- Evaluations of natural phenomena are culturally shaped. They differ from culture to culture and are subject to cultural and historical changes.
- Nature conservation is a modern phenomenon that only emerged around 1900. The reason for its emergence was not an ecological crisis, but the (still widespread) criticism that as a result of capitalism, industrialization and urbanization.
Reasons to protect nature
Purposeful reasons relate to its usability – emotional ones to the aesthetic qualities and symbolic meanings that it has in our culture as landscape or wilderness.
Ethical reasons – sufficiently no precise criteria for which nature should be protected
Nature conservation goals are set based on social interests and cultural values. The natural sciences provide knowledge on how to achieve these goals, e.g. B. ensure the survival of a certain species or limit global warming to a certain value. They also provide information about the consequences of environmental changes, such as how climate change affects vegetation. In this way, you can support specific nature conservation goals with rational arguments.
Nature as a useful object: resource and ecosystem
When you value nature and the environment for its usefulness, you adopt a purposeful perspective. Nature then has exclusively instrumental value, i.e. it is a means to a purpose set by you, such as forests as a source of wood for the furniture industry. It serves people primarily through so-called production and regulation functions, which enable people to live a healthy, safe, and comfortable life. For some people, they want to protect nature because some of the raw materials needed to produce something comes from the environment such as nomatic travel bag.
From a rational perspective, nature and environment protection should ensure that natural production and regulatory functions are preserved. For this purpose, sections of nature are often viewed as ecosystems, i.e. as an effective structure made up of various organisms and their inanimate environment that provide ecosystem services. Species protection is pursued from a purposeful perspective because every species is a potential resource. It is controversial whether the stability of ecosystems increases with the number of species.