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The Overstory


"Monumental… A gigantic fable of genuine truths."—Barbara Kingsolver, The New ...
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Discuss The Overstory by Richard Powers:
How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

Created: 07/26/19

Replies: 11

Posted Jul. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1946

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How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 257

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RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I was brought up by parents who made my sisters and me aware that what we did in our daily lives affected our surroundings which included the environment. As an adult I continued to do small things that I thought helped the environment but never became an activist for any environmental cause. After reading The Overstory I can now appreciate all the people who had the commitment to do whatever they could to bring attention to their cause. My favorite quote was the response Watchman gave when a logger asked him what was the matter with him (and Maidenhair) and why did they hate people. He responded by saying "What are you talking about? We're doing this FOR people!" That was when it reminded me that it's not about any particular cause but how it affects humans now and in the future.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 92

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RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

As each year on this earth passes, I appreciate and am grateful for its blessing and fearful that others may be prevented from the same opportunity. We have harnessed human energy to accomplish so much, we surely should be able to preserve the wonder of the space we inhabit.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KelHydra

Join Date: 08/05/19

Posts: 5

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I think as a child I viewed the environment/nature as fundamentally separate from people and society. I grew up during the "Save the Rainforest" era (Fern Gully anyone? ;)) and internalized the view that Nature is "good" and People (especially people who harm nature) are "bad". As a child, I would argue as a human being, it is easier to conceive of this black-and-white dichotomy without getting tangled up in all the nuance. As I've gotten older, and especially after grad school and marrying an environmental scientist and reading more, I have realized that everything is interconnected (a theme present throughout The Overstory) and there is no dividing people from nature - people *are* nature. I thought The Overstory did a good job portraying this interconnection in a way that wasn't forced or overbearing.


Posted Aug. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Andrea

Join Date: 08/31/18

Posts: 10

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I always appreciated nature but spent most of my childhood, due to an adolescent close-encounter-of-the-insect-kind, doing it from afar. As I aged, my interactions with the environment became more frequent, less apprehensive, and more reverential. After reading this book, I am now determined to do more than just wonder about the variety of chestnut in my yard!


Posted Aug. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
phyllisrelyea

Join Date: 04/13/12

Posts: 17

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

Reading this book certainly made me aware of where humans and trees intersect and need each other!


Posted Aug. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolf

Join Date: 07/10/14

Posts: 45

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I don't think my attitude has changed. I grew up in the country on 160 acres next to my Grandfather's dairy farm. At least part of every day was spent outside in the woods and from an early age we were taught the names of wildflowers and trees and how special it was living where this was normal. I still find great solace in being "in" nature so I think my perspective has not changed.


Posted Aug. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 231

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RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

As a young person, my days were spent out-of-doors as much a possible - not necessarily in hand's on natural projects, but just playing in and among nature. I was aware of sounds, smells, and colors and many memories today bring those vividly back to me. Probably 20 years ago - maybe longer - when we began to celebrate Earth Day and were made aware of recycling and plastic became so prevalent, I became more aware of the damage we are doing to our environment. But it is, truthfully, only much more recently that I have begun to act responsibly, as much as I can personally, to reduce my own footprint. This book has made me aware that I need to begin doing much, much more.


Posted Aug. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 174

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RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I grew up washing my hair in the lake, tossing garbage wherever, letting the water run forever, wasting stuff etc. Then the TV campaign with the Native American Man crying watching people litter started my awakening. As kids we became litter police, and gradually learned more and more about what we are doing to our planets. Driving through Oregon and Washington State 25 years ago I was horrified to see the clear-cutting - it was just as described in the book! It was devastating for me and really changed the way I think about the environment. Now we compost, recycle, re-use, reduce, avoid plastics, buy local as much as possible, try to use the car less etc. Everyday it's seems I learn more about how we are endangering the planet and the future for our children/grandchildren.


Posted Aug. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindal

Join Date: 01/07/16

Posts: 2

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

While visiting many national parks in the last 10 years, I've seen huge increases in the number of people crowding almost every park. One beautiful park near me in southern Ohio, in the Hocking Hills, used to be such a quiet peaceful hiking experience. Now they are considering shuttling the large crowds into the trails. Parking near the trails is no longer adequate. We visited Glacier Nat'l Park last year to see the glacier before it melts. I have this sense of urgency to see these wonders of nature before they disappear. I've also experienced visitors going off the trails and climbing in areas that are fragile disregarding warning signs to stay on the trails. It's heartbreaking to me. There is only so much nature and an increasing number of people. I'm not sure how this will all end up.


Posted Aug. 20, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
donnag

Join Date: 04/18/18

Posts: 7

RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

My attitude toward the environment has greatly changed over the last 10 years. As I have aged, my appreciation for the gifts of Mother Nature has exponentially increased. We have traveled to places to be sure to see them before the ravages of climate change and uncontrolled tourism affect natural beauty. While there, my family is as respectful as possible to preserve the site. Our last trip was to the fjords in Norway and a rapidly melting glacier. The Overstory has made this issue of ecological preservation all the more urgent.


Posted Sep. 05, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 64

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RE: How has your attitude toward the environment changed in the last 10 years? How about the last 20 years or longer? Has The Overstory changed your perspective?

I don't know if the general attitude has changed or not, but I am concerned that our current government leaders are increasing the rate of destruction of our environment rather than decreasing it and putting protections in place.


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