Monday, June 22, 2015

Fr. John Hunwicke's pearls of wisdom on "Nature and Environment"

Fr. John Hunwicke, "Nature and Environment" (Fr. Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment, October 3, 2014). A few excerpts ... or, pearls:
... What I find objectionable is an ideology which has grown up and which surrounds 'Nature' and 'The Environment' with reverence, even deference, and sometimes even what looks like a whole invented morality. (Whom should I blame as the begetter of the idea that Morality is derived from Nature? Wordsworth? Heidegger?) Take the concept of Biodiversity. We are under an obligation, it is suggested, to preserve threatened species and to expand the numbers of different species in the world around us.

Really? What about the small-pox virus? Or Ebola? How much do we welcome their spread? Do we encourage it? But they are parts of Nature, aren't they? Should I explain to my GP that he is wrong to discourage promiscuous young people from providing Welcoming Habitats for Chlamydia? What about fleas? Are they part of Nature, and, if not, why not? What about those wonderful little creatures, lice? Cockroaches in your kitchen and the maggots spreading from the bit of beef which slipped down behind the cupboard? And Weather is Environment, isn't it? Tsunamis are to be welcomed, aren't they? Volcanic eruptions? Floods resulting in the spreading of Bubonic Plague by large black rats? (Perhaps Dr Dawkins will write us a book, with enlarged colour photographs, about the elegant and beautiful symbiosis between the rats, their fleas, and the plague.)

... Recently a television 'Nature' presenter in England called Humble revealed that she liked going around naked so as to be "closer to Nature". She (and the journalist who wrote the story up) apparently saw no inconsistency between this affection for 'Nature' and the decision she said she and her husband had made "never" to have children. How 'Natural' are antiovulant contraceptive pills ... or whatever method she uses to achieve her elected infertility? She tells us that "We usually get up at 6 a.m. to feed the animals". One assumes that she seizes the opportunity to do this naked. I'm sure her house is exquisitely smelly (smells are 'natural') after she comes back indoors with animal excrement all over her (of course) naked feet (mammal excrement is 'natural', isn't it?). And Humble says that "there is something joyous about it [going naked]". I admire her ability to find 'joy' in circumstances which most of us would give a lot to avoid, like going out stark-naked to feed the pigs in a sub-zero temperature, two hours before dawn on a January morning. (Goose pimples are 'part of Nature', aren't they? And icy winter winds straight from Siberia? Or is Nature confined to agreeably warm days and a beneficent Jet-stream?).
[Hat tip to L.S.]