Nature Deficit Disorder

There is a book out that postulates that children today are being deprived of any real contact with nature and any real contact with a certain childhood independence, too. In fact, Salon carries an interview with the author, Richard Louv, titled ‘Do today’s kid’s have nature-deficit disorder?‘ The answer is an obvious… YES they do.

And it can only get much worse, too.

Everybody is concerned about ‘genocide’, but hardly any attention is turned to speciecide where habitat destruction is eliminating the wild in life worldwide. We can expect that nature-deficit disorder will become the normal state of mankind as a result. What a sad world we are leaving our kids and all future generations.

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7 Responses to Nature Deficit Disorder

  1. Avatar The 13th says:

    Smokey the Bear wants YOU to build your house in the forests. Then firefighters will receive generous funding to protect your right to drive an SUV to-and-from the “natural setting”.

    Disneyland for Hobbits.

    At least Hunter S Thompson knew what do to with the privacy. Shotgun-golf is so appealing, maybe we should all buy a “club” and play through. (RIP Duke.)

  2. Avatar The 13th says:


    I hope that readers everywhere caught the news articles a few months ago about the Yangtze River dolphin’s newly declared extinction. This extinction marked THE FIRST aquatic mammal species to be wiped out by human activity. Or should that be human inactivity since the creature’s “saving grace” was lost upon us?

    Like other dolphins this species depended on sonar for food. Unfortunately water harvesting, pollution, and boat traffic convoluted the animal’s instinctual senses to the point that it could no longer locate its own food. Researchers tracking the species counted 13 of these dolphins in 1999. Apparently those were the last 13. Since then, instead of procreating – the last 13 starved to death.

    Science and humans have long marveled dolphins and porpoises for their intelligence and for their loveable playful nature. Sadly, even the military found dolphins to be viable for exploitation, from mine detection to trained living torpedoes. Aquatic mammals have even been deployed to Iraq.

    Meanwhile – here’s the end of the line for one version of the dolphin. No more. Never more. Never again. It’s a fairy tale now.

    One less dolphin for your children to eat mixed with their tuna. One less zoo exhibit to attempt to extract any sense of appreciation for living creatures. The applauding crowds at SeaWorld will have to jump for this sardine themselves.

    When I read the story I wondered if the antonym of “extinction” was “instinction”. I did a search for the word “instinction” and apparently it’s not a word. The closest find was “instruction” – so I guess, though not the same, I will have to go with that word. Humanity only knows extinction and instruction – our “instinction” does not exist…

    Ecologists have long worried we are living our life out of balance. Sociologists noting rising crime rates and mental illness coupled with apathy, illiteracy, and alienation also reveal the lack of any prevailing human instinct. Economists see the Empire, the caste systems of injustice, labor versus exploitation, and have declared the bulk of humankind to be financial slaves. Idealists even consider the virtues of freedom and love as potential euphemisms for hypocrisy, though retaining inner hopes for their global realization somehow.

    One of the definitions for “extinction” from Webster’s is “the process of eliminating or reducing a conditioned response by not reinforcing it.” This indeed suggests “instruction” IS the human antonym of extinction – what we believe – and whether we are willing to support it in order to perpetuate that belief.

    And yet humans continue to divide themselves with degrading traits of greed’s savagery and dehumanizing labels of caste system and callousness. Even the etymologies of words themselves reveal that prejudice has been ingrained seemingly forever. The word “heathen” originates from living on the heath (outside of urban sophistication). The word “moron” stems from same prejudice – living on the moor, not within the city’s “educated elite”. “Cretin” derived from poor Christian, and so on and so on, and on it goes indeed!

    “A sentence of death.” “A story with a plot.” “Peacekeeper Missle.” One can go crazy with semantic death entendres unless they have a sense of humor!

    A while back I wrote a blog about adoring the chimp species, the Bonobo. My intent was hoping to suggest that even from an evolutionary perspective humans evolved from two chimp-like mammals – one (the common Chimp) of a warring nature – the other (the bonobo) a loving nature. Truth is all animals have a degree of savagery, even the bonobo.

    Bonobos are notorious for chewing off fingers when aggravated. I confess I am no different. Years ago, in a capitalism hunting accident I lost my ring finger. Some say it was an act of cannibalism, others a sad accident of lost and found instinct. Either way it caused for a lot of adaptation – and not just my own.

    Now, given the plight of current politics other bonobos are attacking my infantile thumbsucking and I’ve been forced to remove yet another digit. This leaves three fingers, tragic, yet still viable enough to survive. I can still sign “I love you” to the deaf. And when generosity is provoked to denial I can still give the middle finger instead. My “modern” humanity seems intact.

    Yet, due to the gift of human awareness, I also know, like those Chinese river dolphins, I too, am the last 13. Eventually my name will be erased, and all that will be remembered are the beliefs that I reinforced or shared with others. I can’t “instinct” another heart or mind – but I can attempt to diligently instruct it to believe in more than extinction.

    I can conjure God in prayer. I can mix fact and sentiment like an alchemist. I can share laughter with friends and strangers alike in hopes of disproving alienation’s dismal instruct.

    I can take a census of my friends – dwindling in number – and worry. I can swim in the current unless human noise blocks my sonar. I can write about extinction – and know it’s not about the 13 as reference to my own life, but about what is next, how many, how long, and what to do to keep Hope alive.

    Psychologists have suggested that the process of empathy leads to sleepiness. I don’t doubt this for a moment, but life IS too sacred to sleep through. Thus, to keep you awake in your care I can stomp my feet or slap the back of your head. Or I can arouse your attention with the prurient…

    Today I’m an ape making love to a dolphin. Tomorrow I’m your mother and father telling you a bedtime story. At the end of the story I will try to talk about eternity and happy endings ever after. If necessary I’ll even tell you what the dolphin wore to make itself so attractive to a monkey.

    Whatever it takes – by knock or caress – it’s vital that we preserve our sense of humanity – not our sense of savagery. We do this not simply for the peaceable local family BBQ but for families next door, the families to come, for the family of Man, and hopefully, for life eternal. Perhaps it’s debatable whether mankind is near extinction but one thing is certain – humanity remains an endangered species.

    If the medium is the massage than the instinct is the instruct. By what order do YOU live?!? Do your words belong to today? Or have they died in the paper trail of incantonation and excommunication. Is this a “hello”, or an “oh hell”? If it’s always the latter, I suggest most of us would prefer you to remain dumb until you learn to talk about something more appealing. Put your fingers in your mouth and chew. Show us your teeth. Smile.

    From the belly of a dead fish bring your life to this land – with life – and for life. Wake up to eternity. Find instinction’s hope.

    Instinction may not be a word yet – but maybe – maybe if we keep our hands together, someday it can be.

  3. That’s quite a piece you wrote here 13th…it should be a full-fledge post with illustrations to attract and sustain the interest. I can help do that later if you wish.

  4. Avatar Marie Walden says:

    13th, I agree!

  5. Avatar The 13th says:

    Thanks both (and Tony for starting this post as well). Yes, agreed per graphics, Jacques. I envision a a heart beat on a sonar screen or perhaps a dead end sign floating near a river dam(n). Either way, Jacques, you are welcome to reprint the article on your local blog if you would prefer, and thanks again for sharing your own thoughts here at NMT as well! Once, as Marie will vouch, I thought you were a fictional! Now I see you are “frictional” – and in a grand way. Thanks for believing in sparks and door stops, Jacques (and gang).

    Meanwhile, and sigh, the Iran gangbang is looking for new whores. Beware the condom-ation.

  6. Avatar NH says:

    Wow this is nuts. Nature Deficit Disorder a mental illness? I think liberalism is definitely a mental illness.

  7. Avatar The 13th says:

    NH – I’m guessing you love Steely Dan. Not the rock group. It’s ok. I use plastic forks without remorse.

    Strictly speaking – I agree – whether labeled nuts – or truly nuts – is debatable – and also digresssion. It’s also debatable whether Psychology is Liberalism – as most consider it a form of scientific theory.

    The real point is that the environment is literally our foothold on life. It deserves care – and certainly children deserve to experience its wealth of beauty and inspire – and be encouraged to appreciate.

    Also, please know , NH, that ALL personality can be deemed as some form of pathology. Maybe that’s why you feel so sane. You are boring.

    Here’s some “conservative” advice for your prosperity… read more.

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