Humans and "nature" / by nigel grey

Spring is here! Bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds have been arriving with the first blooms. I think observing the world around us is critical to caring about it, so how can we increase our awareness and connection? Would we act differently if we could grasp the wonders of nature and truly understand how much we rely on the environment and creatures around us?

What if to buy one pound of honey we had to travel the same distance to the grocery store as a hive of honey bees must fly? From Flagstaff, Arizona, we would need to make 59 round trips to the Whole Foods in Los Angeles, California before we could make our purchase. According to statistics, a hive of honey bees must travel over 55,000 miles to produce one pound of honey.


The earth is changing, and plants, animals, humans, and other organisms are being affected by it. Can recognizing our place as humans within the natural world make a difference? We are just one part of the complex system of living and nonliving components. Like all members of an ecosystem, we have many roles. For example, we are hosts to up to 100 trillion bacteria cells!

By emphasizing our place within nature, not separate from it, perhaps we can start to see why climate change is an issue that impacts us directly, not only the Great Barrier Reef.


"Honey Trivia." National Honey Board,

Pollan, Michael. "Some of My Best Friends Are Germs." The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times Company, 15 May 2013,

Cave, Damien and Justin Gillis. "Large Sections of Australia's Great Reef Are Now Dead, Scientists Find." The New York Times, The New York Times Company, 15 Mar. 2017,