Caring for the natural world is like caring for ill patients in some respects, but different from it in others. 

Physicians and nurses often can know the wishes of the patients whom they treat, but can humans know how the natural world prefers to be treated?

Insofar as we must hypothesize about the latter, does the way that we think about the best interests of patients who are unable to communicate their wishes resemble the way that nature’s interests are considered?