This is from an interview in New Scientist with E. O. Wilson, an author with a PhD. in entomology, whose books include, 'Sociobiology', Biophilia, The Ants, Consilience and the latest, The Creation.
Q. If the love of nature is innate, why is nature in such crisis and why is it so difficult to communicate the importance of conservation?
A. You've put your finger on it. There appears to be a hierarchy of drives in humans. The biggest concern is always survival and reproduction, and protection of clan and family.
For most of human history, humans have had to struggle against nature to survive.
Then with the Neolithic revolution we learned how to break nature by cultivating plants, clearing land and building surpluses of resources and developing technologies. But along the way, there has been this deep connection to having a natural environment, even if it's just to exploit it.
It took a few thousand years of adoring gardens, loving exploring, expanding into unspoilt environments and so on to bring us up short with the recognition that we've gone too far.
We broke nature and now we're smashing it and getting rid of humanity's biggest heritage.
A full version of this interview can be downloaded from the podcast website http://www.newscientist.com/podcast.
I think those three words, 'we broke nature' is exactly what is wrong with our world and now we have to fix it.