In my latest reading of Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, Al Gore talks about addiction and human dysfunction. What’s this have to do with the environment? Gore ties these things into the environment by saying that our exploitation of resources is addictive and reflects our dysfunction. And Gore believes that a significant part of the problem is that we have lost our connection with nature.
Gore distances himself from environmentalists who are anti-human, for he believes that humans can co-exist with nature if their attitudes are changed. In my latest reading, he could have elaborated more on how we are disconnected from nature, or what connection with nature would look like. But I can speculate about what he means. For one, nature is beautiful and can inspire us. But, two, it’s important spiritually to have an attitude of humility, and what corresponds with this is humans not seeing themselves and their own wants as the end-all-be-all, but realizing that they share the earth with plants and animals, who have value in their own right.