Rapid Landscape Change, Vulnerability, and Social Responsibility


  • Thomas Heyd


In this article I explore the relation between vulnerability to rapid landscape change, on the one hand, and conceptions of land and responsibility for landscape, on the other. I begin by briefly discussing the notion of vulnerability to natural phenomena, and possible ways of addressing it. Next, I introduce some of the ways in which natural phenomena and processes have been perceived, and take note of the sense of responsibility toward landscape often expressed among peoples who are deeply rooted in the land. I continue with a discussion of the basis of the respect that underlies this sense of responsibility and with an account of what respect amounts to in this context. After this I point out how respect for natural phenomena may lead to a lowering of vulnerability. I conclude that it is imperative to develop those ways of conceiving of natural phenomena that will lead to a deep sense of respect and responsibility for the natural world that surrounds us.






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