A new global survey aims to find the new seven wonders of the natural world. From an original pool of over 440 locations from over 220 countries the New7Wonders Foundation has recently released the list of 28 finalists. Finalists include the Amazon Rainforest, the Dead Sea, Milford Sound, Kilimanjaro and Great Barrier Reef. Project organizers anticipate over 1 billion votes will be counted when the final results are released in 2011. The project founder Bernard Weber claims that “so many breathtakingly beautiful, natural places are still quite unknown to many. From waterfalls to fjords, rainforests to mountain peaks, freshwater lakes to volcanoes, we are discovering together the incredible beauty and variety of our planet.” But how objective are our aesthetic judgements of natural beauty? And what role does this aesthetic value play in arguments for environmental preservation? These questions can be illuminted by theories in the aesthetics of nature.
For more information and to cast your vote go here.
The Aesthetics of Nature
By Glenn Parsons, Ryerson University
(Vol. 2, March 2007)