By Ansgar Walk (photo taken by Ansgar Walk) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons

This article was originally published on Medium


“To overcome — once and for all — the false separation between nature and culture requires us to acknowledge that learning from human ingenuity and long-term adaptations to particular environments is also learning from nature. Among indigenous peoples there is a long tradition of solving human problems by learning from other species and from the wider natural processes in which we participate.

Taking a long-term perspective, humanity has only managed to survive by doing exactly that. For most of our history we have carefully adapted to the sources of materials and energy that we could harvest in a renewable and non-depleting way from within the local and regional ecosystems we inhabited. One reason why we spent a good part of our history living nomadically is that our ancestors met their basic needs by following the migration routes of other animals and seasonally available food that could be gathered along the way.

For tens of thousands of years we have lived within the limits of our local bioregions, carefully learning — by trial and error — how best to meet the needs of our nomadic or resident population by drawing on local and regional energy and material flows.

Culture is an epiphenomenon of nature and traditional place-based cultures are (or were) the result of the careful co-evolution of human settlements with the ecosystems they inhabit. Co-evolution means that the environment shaped human culture while humans shaped their environment…”

Read on at: Medium.