Nature was a fundamental part of my childhood experience. Not just because my family had an affinity for outdoor adventure, but also because it was part of the cultural fabric of growing up in Canada in the 70’s and 80’s.
My cultural touchstones were The Nature of Things, Hinterland Who's Who, Farley Mowat, Bill Mason, a portaging Prime Minister and, of course, Beachcombers and Danger Bay. I was saturated with a deep nostalgia for wilderness and awareness of its importance to my Canadian identity. Places I had yet to see, like Arctic tundra or the vast glaciers of the Rockies, were as real and as important to my worldview as my own backyard.
It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but somewhere along the way I started thinking about nature as "the environment" — that is, something to worry about.