New preconceptions for the common man of this and future generations must be formed so that reality can be responded to in a way that does not bring human culture to a terminus. The common man—peasant, fisherman, industrialist, banker, politician, to name a few of the occupations meant by that term—must not come to see nature as a mine and his future salvation as a rocket ride to Mars, where all the old worldly mistakes can be repeated. What finally must be accepted, instead, is the vision of man as the giver to nature, the warden of himself and his environment, the planner who encompasses his present and provides for the future relation of human demands and the natural resources which must meet them. It is another conception by which reality can be seen; and if it is accepted, such a conception will make more possible the sort of continued existence man professes to want. If it is not, so that man continues to perceive everything around him as a garden captured from the wilderness, or, worse, comes to see his possessions as mined treasures, then the future can only be a reenactment of the loss of Eden. But this time there will be no expulsion, just a self-ordained departure. And the destination will not be wilderness, but man-made desert instead. There is nothing predetermined about it; but if the human vision does not change, the balances of nature throughout most of the world will keep on shifting toward the sere.
Earl Finbar Murphy,
The Necessity to Change Man's Traditional View of Nature,
48 Neb. L. Rev. 299
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol48/iss2/3