In the West, our perception of nature is skewed beyond belief. We form our views about the outside in our childhoods with Disney movies and propaganda from environmentalists. We view nature as pure, happy, harmonious and conducive to life. I challenge environmentalists to attempt to survive in nature without contraptions from modern human civilization.
Yesterday I hiked for about ten hours through the woods. Make no mistake, seeing the rays of the sun coming down through the clouds and through the branches and foliage of trees is a spectacular sight. The pure, unpolluted smells of grass, still dripping from a night shower is unparalleled. The absolute quiet from cars, trains, people talking on cell phones with only birds singing in a chorus is literal music to the ears. I wholeheartedly enjoy spending time in nature, it is a great opportunity to catch up on podcasts, audio from livestreams and some light music.
My enjoyment of nature is predicated on a truthful and accurate view of what nature is. I have long since discarded the warped perceptions of Disney and the “greenies”. I’m fully aware that I would not survive for long in nature without the help of modern technology. The fresh-water sources in the forest are heavily polluted with bacteria, dead animal corpses and dirt. Drinking it would cause explosive diarrhea faster than a questionable Mexican restaurant. Without water, human life becomes very short indeed.
We like to think of the bountiful fruits and berries abundantly strewn around in the deep wilderness. But let me tell you right now, in those ten hours I spent yesterday I found not a single edible fruit or berry growing, none whatsoever. If I wanted food in order to survive, I would have to catch animals for meat. Doing so without modern tools would be rather impossible. The sense of smell and hearing of animals is too well adjusted to allow me to sneak up on them. The same difficulties apply when talking about catching fish. Doing so without a pole or net would be beyond the realm of what I could realistically hope to achieve. I would thus only be freed from a slow and agonizing death by starvation by the simple fact that death from dehydration would claim me first.
All this supposes that I wouldn’t die from exposure first. In the winter, I would be fucked. The winters are cold here up north in Norway. It is essential to have modern winter clothing and gear. Best case scenario, I would find myself attempting this survival challenge in July. I wouldn’t freeze to death then, but the insects (in particular bloodsucking mosquitoes) would eat me for breakfast. Yesterday I forgot to apply my anti-insect spray and paid the prize. Looking at my arms and legs today I can see at least a dozen different mosquito bites. And yes, they do itch terribly. I also noticed yesterday while eating lunch, that all kinds of insects were not being particularly helpful. Ants were crawling all over my hat, backpack and bag with food. Wasps, flies and the ever-present mosquitoes were attempting to make my meal as unpleasant as possible.
My overarching point with all of this is that our general perception of nature and environmentalism in particular isn’t based on an accurate view of what nature truly is. We should be appreciative of modern conveniences, as they are what allows us to survive and civilization to flourish. There is of course a place for preserving and protecting nature, but it must never be allowed to overshadow that which preserves and promotes human life.