The occasion was Richard Louv, author of, among other books, The Nature Principle and The Last Child in the Woods. It was hard not to jump up and shout "me too" or "yes,yes" or "I've been there", such was the nature of his simple idea - that as we've developed as a species our affinity with nature has become virtually part of our genome - and that as we have developed technically and become more urbanised we have suffered for having experienced this loss of nature. In fact Louv has coined the idea of this new syndrome - the Nature Deficit Disorder. He quotes research done and being done now which shows that children with some contact with nature do better in all sorts of ways, personally, educationally, socially, psychologically-spiritually, professionally - look at Bill Gates, Dick Smith, Steve Jobs. And although Louv's emphasis is on children - the future - he also acknowledges the calming effect of nature on adults!
Give me a politician (or any person) with a love and appreciation of nature any day.