(The) artificial division between natural and unnatural pervades our understanding of the world. Industrialists may hope to dominate nature, and environmentalists to protect it—but both camps depend on the same dualism, on a conception of nature as something to which humanity has no fundamental link, and in which we have no inherent place. And it's a harmful dualism, even if it takes the form of veneration. It keeps us from embracing a robust, engaged environmentalism that is based on something more than gauzy, prelapsarian yearnings.
Visit Sunny Chernobyl: And Other Adventures in the World's Most Polluted Places
Andrew Blackwell deigns to create a tourism niche: disaster tourism. He visits Chernobyl, a Canadian oil sands mine, an American oil refinery, the Pacific garbage patch, Brazilian soy operations, a Chinese coal mine and an e-waste processing town, and the Kanpur river in India. The travelogue and explanations are both entertaining and evenhanded; I recommend this book highly. While I have no intention of pursuing this sort of travel, I will certainly seek out any other writings of the talented Mr. Blackwell.