by Stephen Leahy (excerpt)

….(A)fundamental issue in modern culture is separation from nature,” she says. “We don’t see that we are connected to the natural world.”

With more people living in cities than in rural areas for the first time in human history, the delusion of separation is likely to worsen.

A recent scientific study found that more children knew the characters of the video game Pokemon than could recognise an oak tree or an otter, according to the Ecological Society of America, a Washington DC-based organisation of 10,000 ecological scientists.

….And yet there is ample evidence that children who connect with nature perform better in school, have higher academic testing scores, exhibit fewer behavioural challenges, and experience fewer attention-deficit disorders, the ESA said in a recent statement.

The evidence is unequivocal that a focus on materialistic lifestyle makes people less happy,” Thompson said.

“The index clearly shows that you can have a better quality of life with less use of resources,” he said. However, despite these facts and decades of talk about sustainability, all economies are still based on the concept of endless growth.

….The things that bring us joy or happiness and a good life don’t have to cost the Earth,” Marks told Inter Press Service.