Open Your Window. Look! There's a World Out There!
Calling all vegetables. Stand up (slowly, so you don’t get a head rush). Now, step slowly away from your computer. Walk toward your front door, open it and keep walking. Breathe (slowly, in case your lungs aren't used to that strange cold air).
While you're slowly getting your sea legs, look around. Plants, birds — what the hell are those things? Back in the old days, before everyone was glued to their TVs and computers 24/7, these strange experiences were actually normal.
A study has shown that camping, hiking, fishing and visiting parks have all declined drastically. Hunting has declined more slowly than other outdoor pastimes. This report is from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The authors are Oliver R. W. Pergams and Patricia A. Zaradic.
The report says: “The replacement of vigorous outdoor activities by sedentary, indoor videophilia has far-reaching consequences for physical and mental health, especially in children. Videophilia has been shown to be a cause of obesity, lack of socialization, attention disorders and poor academic performance."
And: “Declining nature participation has crucial implications for current conservation efforts. We think it probable than any major decline in the value placed on natural areas and experiences will greatly reduce the value people place on biodiversity conservation.”
This decline started during the 1980s and it’s been happening in the U.S. and Japan.
No wonder the environment isn't a high priority. When we hear about forests being mowed down and species going extinct, more and more people will be thinking “so what's your point?”
cross-posted at Bring It On!