The stories we tell about the environment, implicit and explicit, say a lot about the beliefs we hold as a collective, about ourselves and the type of schema in which the human condition is situated. The stories we are no longer telling and the perspectives that have fallen out of favour tell us something about how our values and ways of seeing may have changed.
Since the ealiest forms of representation, the environment and its features appear as a tapestry of labels and attributes projected from the realm of human affiars. Wheather living on the steppes or costal regions the firmament has evoked motifs long before a Rorschach or Freud devised a practise for probing the modern mind.
As if mankind had left nature as an animal and returned with an intelect that would no longer allow to world to appear as it is, without imposing our own structes and categories to what we are facing.
In a world that increasingly embraced the notion that scientific investigation could yield verifiable truths, Swedish botanist Carl von Linné began developing his Systema Naturae which remains the primary organizational structure for mapping the natural world today. In the Linnean schema, all living things - from flowers to the human race - were placed in structures of kingdoms and conformed to defined ideal types, implicitly labelled male or female. Organisms that did not correspond to its ideal type were dismissed as anomalies.
Despite our sense of self importance, throughout evolution the animal kingdom has played the role of distribution servant, moving seeds and pollen across valleys and continents in exchange for food. In an industrialized world however, a large part of the environment is falling under human dominion, where this exchange happens at scale.
By providing food, wood, beauty or drugs in the human marketplace, species proliferate across all continents, privileged with optimum conditions. The Eucalyptus, once solely reserved to Australia, is now found on most continents, cultivated as one of the most utilized wood crops on earth.
Advances in lighting technology has optimized the conversion of energy from the electrical grid to photosynthesis. For the maximum absorption in green foliage, a combination of red and blue light is used in commercial greenhouses, creating the characteristic glow disseminating in the atmosphere.
What we are looking at is always far more complicated that what we see. It is difficult to parse out what are our own projections. Perhaps we are simply the servants of plants.