Max Nicholson

Foreword by H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh
originally written for Max's book "The New Envirionmental Age" , 1986 and reproduced here with permission

Max Nicholson was one of the environmental revolutionaries of the early post war years. His appropriately named book "The Environmental Revolution" had a significant impact, and I am sure that it influenced many people in their thinking about the very grave threats to the natural environment.

I believe that this new book [The New Environmental Age] will be equally valuable. It is quite true that there is a much greater popular understanding of the dangers we are creating for ourselves by ignoring the well-being of the whole natural system. Mankind cannot exist in isolation from the rest of the living world. It is his life-support system and he damages it at his dire peril. Those of us alive at the present time may feel that there is no serious urgency because what we see of the natural world looks more or less alright. I feel that it is wholly immoral to disregard our obligations to future generations.

Carl Jung, writing in Psychology and Religion said: Western man has no need of more superiority over nature. Whether outside or inside. He has both in almost devilish perfection. What he lacks is conscious recognition of his inferiority to the nature around and within him. He must learn that he may not do exactly as he wills. If he does not learn this, his own nature will destroy him.

It is one thing to be conscious of the damage we are doing: it is quite another matter to come to understand how to repair the damage already done and how to limit further damage in the future. I believe that the value of this book is that it explains what needs to be done if future generations are to have any natural environment to inherit or, indeed, whether they will have any hope of survival.

However, I must add that Max Nicholson has always held strong views and opinions and these have not invariably been accepted without question. This in no way detracts from the value of this book, which I hope will stimulate the reader to think about these issues and to come to his own conclusions.