To think of untouched nature as perfect is, from the traditional point of view, as mistaken as to think of it as an expendable resource. Nature is neither a goddess to be worshiped from a distance, nor a whore to be used up and dismissed. Nature is the wife of the human genius: together they are to produce their manifold creations to the simultaneous fulfillment of both.
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Originally published as Chapter 6 of Mining, Metallurgy, and the Meaning of Life, 2005. Included in the anthology The Betrayal of Tradition, World Wisdom Books, 2004. Republished here with thanks.