It's official: research in The Lancet shows that access to the natural environment directly affects our health, and even our lifespan.
It's been known for some time that hospital patients with a view of trees or plants recover faster than those with a view of buildings, although the process by which this occurs is not yet understood. It's also recognised that outdoor play can directly benefit children suffering from behavioural disorders (not to mention reducing childhood obesity), and the term 'nature deficit disorder', coined by Richard Louv in his groundbreaking book 'Last Child in the Woods', has been in currency for some time now.
We have failed to protect the natural world for its own sake, and we seem to be failing to protect it as the medium in which we exist. Perhaps, as evidence mounts of its direct to our health, we will finally be moved to preserve our living environment – for our own sake, if nothing else.