To a person that lived only a few hundred years ago our modern day technology would, no doubt, look like some form of powerful magic: flying machines, television, skyscrapers, being able to talk to people on the other side of the world, and so on. While the marvels of modern technology have improved mankind's lot in a multitude of ways our ancient ancestor might argue that it has come at a high a cost to the natural environment. He might well counter all our achievements with something even more powerful: nature magic.

Nature magic is seen in the rising and setting of the sun, the sweep of seasonal changes and the eternal rebirth of all parts of the web of life that surrounds us; nature magic is visible in the wonders that lie behind even the simplest elements of the natural world; at the way that nature provides an inexpensive store of energy and sustenance. To have planted a seed and watched it grow, requiring nothing more than earth and sun, is a truly magical experience.

The impact of modern industrial society on the natural environment is only now being understood in all of its ramifications: we now face the prospect of seriously destabilizing the atmosphere that encloses us and radically altering the patterns of life on the planet as a whole.

Living in harmony with nature has been regarded as an ideal that, while laudable, is impractical and requires too much effort. Today it has become a necessity that we must all address.

The fact that we have an endless supply of free energy is the most valuable and significant element of nature magic. It means that we do not need to consume the world's resources to provide heat and light. Solar energy, wind power and the power of water in our rivers and seas are an endlessly renewable source that can give us all the energy we need without ever being consumed.

We must all learn to live with less and to live by our own efforts. Growing our own food and being self sufficient in as many aspects of daily life as possible (including water and energy) will mean that we are not dependent on an infrastructure created to service our needs that is consuming the planet's resources.

Nature magic, in the end, may be more powerful than anything that can be conjured by modern technology and we will all need to live by its rules if we hope to survive.