In this chapter we have seen how attitudes to ‘Nature’ have changed through time, in particular with the rise of a worldview where humans perceived themselves as separate from, and superior to, their environment.

Reflecting back on chapter 1, it is worth considering how these changes in worldview correlate with the climatic shifts associated with global warming – is it a coincidence that the two follow very similar temporal trends?

Not all societies today share the Western worldview of nature. It is possible that these groups, as well as those from pre-Enlightenment periods, may have ecocentric knowledge that the West should learn from as it moves forward into a period of instability, brought about largely by its own anthropocentric worldview. 

Some examples of traditional knowledge will be considered in the next chapter , which examines issues of power and water.