Can we apply neuroscience to solving the environmental crisis? It’s an idea that Wallace J Nichols is exploring. He argues that engaging with nature is deeply satisfying and great for our wellbeing, and that understanding the benefits of wild nature could be crucial in helping to motivate us to care for the planet.
If we understood the benefits of nature, then we would value the earth. And that makes Nichols’ approach to environmental issues one of thankfulness and respect, rather than guilt. My conservationist brother always cautions against measuring the value of something entirely by its usefulness to humans, but it’s an interesting perspective. Here’s Nichols’ TEDx talk on the subject: