Where is the environment anyhow?

In my article, “You Are Now Entering the Environment,” just out in the new issue of Minding Nature, I question what, exactly that word—that massive, amorphous place—means to us:

Several years ago The New Yorker published a cartoon that showed two people in a car turning their heads in bewilderment toward a roadside sign that reads: “You are now entering the environment.” Now entering? Where were we before? Surely the environment is all around us. Or is it? Like any good joke, this one has a bite that’s sharp enough to leave an aftertaste. What is the environment anyway? Is it a synonym for nature? Are you more likely to find it where there’s plenty of nature to enjoy or where nature is under threat? Can you get out of the city and spend a Saturday hiking in the environment? Or is the environment that place over there, the one that’s having a lot of trouble nobody quite knows how to fix?

To explore these questions, I talk about the environment as predator and as prey… how looking out the back window of the car as a child taught me about the meaning of “environment”… the many environments we absorb and are absorbed by every day, and other conundrums!

To read the article, click here.

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