America has had a long history of friendly relationship with nature. The American community is fond of surfing, boating, hiking, camping and hunting. The complex relationship of the land to nature attracted the attention of the Europeans who claimed that the country had not been habited before and it was endless. But there were other tribal people before this and their relationship with nature was favorable and their perception of nature was unlike that one of the Europeans who wanted to exploit the available resources to make a profit. America is deeply concerned about global warming and in each year, environmental day is observed on the 22nd day of April during which the greater American community is reminded of her obligation towards establishing a natural environment fit for all her citizens. America's attitude towards nature has undergone gradual revolution since the exploratory times of Christopher Columbus during which time he made fascinating claims of a country with a dense forest cover in which trees stretching up to the sky. Early reports on the New World as America was by then called showed that it was a very fertile land capable of supporting a bountiful agricultural industry. The new world had a limitless supply of natural resources in its boundless water bodies, ore deposits, and a diverse fauna and floral empire (Nash, 97). It is possible to conjure the human race towards living such as "the song of Spider Woman and the Sun God as a result of the deep connection among the creation causing a lack of distinction between the natural things and humans.
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The aspirations of the in coming people were building a New Jerusalem in the New Land. Associated with a sacred civilization with no moral decay and corruption as was the case in Europe. Nature was seen to take up the role of fearful opponents and the pilgrims perceived themselves as being "mission in the wilderness". They perceived nature as being dangerous force whose alignment suited the powers of darkness with so many threats as well as temptations and consequently their opted to shun the milder climates at Virginia colonies in favor of settling to the North as a result of the fear of the a speedy degeneration of their people by the rich soil together with good weather. Early European settlers most notably the Spaniards and the British fantasized about a booming wine industry which could emerge as a result of harnessing the vast wild grapes that formed a significant part of America's natural forest cover. This land that the Europeans fantasized about had long been inhabited for over a thousand years before Columbus' arrival. The indigenous communities of America had developed a unique relationship with nature but unlike the arriving Europeans, did not consider nature to be a pool of resources to be exploited for economic development. (Columbus, 645).
Although the pilgrims were in the first place suspicious about nature hence requiring to put it under trial, they later became acquainted and they build towns, developed farms and also schools attempting to recreate "New England". It was in the process of clearing terrain that they discovered that their immediate neighbors were the wolfs, an issue that was later associated with bestiality cases.
Most of the earliest European settlers in America were religious immigrants who wanted to escape religious persecution which was going on in England and Netherlands. As religious people, they aspired at building a new religious empire in their new found home on biblical terms just as the case of the Israelites exodus, an empire that was sacred, corruption free and well civilized than Europe. They realized that to achieve their mission, they had to tame the generosity of nature and turn it into a productive garden, much like the biblical Garden of Eden. So a few years after arriving in America, they were busy building schools, towns and farms and there was an ever increasing need to clear more forest cover to give space for their endeavors. Sooner than later, they started noticing that the population of wolves around settlement areas was dwindling. This marked a major human-nature conflict (Nash, 187).
Upon securing her independence from the British colonial master, American thinkers sought for ways of a brand new America different from the early empires that dominated the old World. Most of these thinkers and more especially Ralph Emerson thought that the American society could be made unique by cultivating a personal relationship with nature. They professed that nature had the potential to propel America to higher levels of prosperity, both economically and socially (Leopold, 256).
Since then subsequent generations of Americans began to develop a strong fascination for nature. One Roosevelt Teddy, a former US president during the early stages of America's industrialization process was strongly obsessed to nature and his pro-nature campaigns saw the establishment of nature friendly clubs in schools. The nature clubs had a primary mission of making school children aware of nature and nature related issues (Hawkin, 215).
America entered the twentieth century with a fully matured love for nature. Environmental conservation became a matter of scientific and political concern in the minds of leading American statesmen and women. According to Leopold Aldo, a leading environmentalist, human beings are a member of the wider biotic team that also consists of several communities of creatures and landforms and therefore human beings have an obligation to maintain an ethical relationship with nature.
David Thoreau, an American philosopher and self -trained environmentalist, nature is the source of all a man's health both physical and spiritual and therefore all human beings have a moral duty to maintain and take care of this important source of their health. Thoreau further argues that nature offers a natural comfort at times of depression. Thoreau reckons that for Americans to fulfill their share of the bargain in preserving the environment, the Americans needed knowledge. "Knowledge is power", he argued and that unless this power is sought for, the American society will be reduced to mere mounds of soil. Several challenges that were hampering environmental efforts were identified and the main one then was industrialization. During his decades-spanning exploration of American wilderness, Thoreau noticed a remarkable difference between the natural world and the newly industrialized world. He urged the American authorities to contain the crisis of urbanization and asked loyal citizens to consider living in cabins in forests (Hawkin, 145).
Then came another issue of environmental concern and this was testing of nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapon testing was at the centre of a heated controversy as many environmental activists pursued the government to stop these tests. The issue was of major concern and received support from the rest of the world. It was argued that nuclear tests were harmful not only to human life but also to all other forms of life. This effort bore fruits when the treaty of nuclear non-proliferation was passed.
Today the natural world is a place full of reticent and wonders that command everybody's attention. People and the society at large have to be natural in their handling of issues of nature. Nature can only be approached from a sober understanding of all issues that pertain to it. While the American society has to develop, not least in matters technological her zeal for the development of the natural world should not waver. America's prosperity is inexplicably bound to the prosperity of her natural resources. This calls for concerted efforts from all quarters of the American community in dealing with environmental issues. America as a country has a core duty of providing a free environment in which her citizens can pursue an harmonious living. In return, the American citizens have an obligation to treat Mother Nature with all the due dignity she deserves.
The American government is obligated to provide a clearly laid down policy governing handling of nature related issues. The government also has a duty to set standards to be observed by industries that emit greenhouse gases. The American government is also obliged to promote knowledge of environmental matters to her citizens. This can be achieved by promoting popular environmental programs in the media as well as in educational institutions. Also, the government is required to educate her citizens on the importance of pursuing a health lifestyle. The government is also required to pass legislations governing waste disposal. The government is also required to observe international legislations governing environmental conservations like the famous Kyoto protocol on green house emissions.
The American populace has a mandate to observe fully all state laws governing extraction, use and enjoyment of natural resources they are also supposed to promote a health lifestyle both at individual level and at community level. It is also their duty to participate in government educational programs aimed at enlightening citizens on matters of nature. They also have the duty to develop and promote use of environmental friendly methods of disposing wastes and also make suggestions to the government on how to implement environmental friendly ways of disposing wastes. They also have a duty to educate their children on the importance of observing environmental conservation issues.
In conclusion, the eventual wellbeing of the American society is a product of the participation of both the government and the individual citizens in tackling the issues of nature. America's environmental prosperity is a key predictor of its economic, technological, political and social wellbeing. Government, individuals, community based organizations, religious groups, and industrial organizations all have a duty to promote knowledge of environmental issues. They are morally obliged to inform the citizens on the benefits they stand to gain by pursuing environmental friendly policies. They are also required to inform the American citizenry of the costs they stand to incur by not pursuing environmental friendly lifestyle. The American community should critically consider investing in wildlife conservation. This is a double forked issue and touches on both animal and forest conservancy.
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