As you may have come to realise, one of the main reasons why we face such dire ecological crises is because contemporary societies have designed themselves to be "outside of nature" with the desire to control our experiences. Our interactions with it have been minimised, and our bubble has been built around extracting energy and material from nature and the environment around us, and depositing degraded materials and energy back outside of our bubble, into nature. Our ethic is defined by doing what we want "in here," and not worrying about what happens "out there," as long as the flow of materials and energy in continues, and as long we can continue dumping what we want out there. We have created this disconnect in order to shirk responsibility in dealing with shortcomings of our philosophies and mental capacities, and in our humility.
I am reading this fascinating book by Alan Weisman, called The World Without Us, in which he envisions how nature might take over human structures and landscapes such as houses and cities. We have many times fought against nature in creating spaces for us to live, eat, and sleep. In having done so, we constantly struggle to maintain what it is we've invested in. For example, in having "reclaimed" land, like in The Netherlands, we are compelled to keep the forces of water at bay by constructing something like Maeslantkering.
Weisman describes the fascinating case of what it takes to keep the New York subway system running smoothly. Everyday, those running the subway must keep 13 million gallons of water from overpowering the tunnels. Because there is little soil and vegetation to absorb rainwater and groundwater, subway tunnels funnel the water into themselves. There are 753 pumps, maintained by crews, that have to pump water uphill constantly, because of the depth of the subway tunnels, and natural groundwater that gushes up from bedrock. Weisman writes, "Following the World Trade Center attack, an emergency pump train bearing a jumbo portable diesel generator pumped out 27 times the volume of Shea Stadium. Had the Hudson River actually burst through the PATH train tunnels that connect New York's subways to New Jersey, as was greatly feared, the pump train-and possibly much of the city-would simple have been overwhelmed." Pat Schuber, superintendent of Hydraulics for New York City Transit continues, "When this pump facility shuts down [because of no electricity], in half an hour water reaches a level where trains can't pass anymore."
There seems to be an ethic, prevalent throughout our interactions amongst ourselves, and with nature, of domination and competition. We want to dominate other people and their principles (leading to armed conflict), and we want to dominate the forces of nature by creating structures that nature wants to topple, and by demolishing violently natural areas for things of monetary "value." What if we were to live our lives not forcefully against the tide of nature, but rather with it?