Mother Nature, My Nature by Owen Lee
Book Review by Douglas Beach

Mother Nature My Nature cover

The image on the cover of Owen Lee’s new book, a drawing of early man—let’s call him Homo erectus—is removing a mask from his face that is a caricature of the author. What are readers to make of this?

One might ask what sparks Lee’s interest in these topics, and what credentials qualify him to write about these subjects. For starters, the back cover copy states, “Owen Lee was the first American to join the crew of Captain Jacques Yves Cousteau aboard his famous research ship, the Calypso, first as an underwater cameraman, then as a traveling lecture spokesman promoting Cousteau’s thoughts about nature in over 300 cities.”

Captain Cousteau passed away in 1997. His legacy includes 120 television documentaries and 50 books. This prolific outpouring earned Cousteau a reputation as one of the early pioneers in bringing green issues to public attention, and Lee rubbed elbows with the great man for nearly a decade.

In My Mother, My Nature, Lee tells readers of dinner conversations aboard Cousteau’s famous ship that centered on nature’s rebellion against humankind’s gathering population outburst and other ecological blunders.

Said Cousteau; “Man’s road into the future leads smack into a wall . . . Until we learn to live in harmony with our ecosystem, survival of life as we know it is doomed. I give it fifty, perhaps a hundred years.”

The captain’s statement got Lee to thinking about man’s disregard for Mother Nature and he never stopped thinking about it. Some years later the Calypso sailed into Zihuatanejo bay and Lee traded the sailing life for a nature preserve at Playa Las Gatas.

Author Owen Lee

Author Owen Lee

To put a proper foundation beneath his argument that the world is on the cusp of disastrous overcrowding, depletion of natural resources, and rapid environmental destruction, Lee hurtles the reader through the Big Bang theory, the ambling rise of hunter-gatherer Homo erectus, and the raw, gene driven sex habits of humankind. Along the way, his book argues that the planet is indeed warming, and the hole in the ozone layer is ever widening. The author backs up his pronouncements with research from an impressive bibliography that includes Al Gore’s Earth in Balance, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, Willis Harman’s Global Mind Change, and Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

In a particularly bold stroke, Lee encourages the devout to set aside their myriad gods in exchange for proven scientific facts and belief in Mother Nature.

Writes Lee, “Floating on the cherished beliefs of their forefathers, religious beliefs have survived on faith alone. But their survival has come at a heavy price…” The author infers that a worldwide commitment to living within the laws of Mother Nature is the single path that might avoid the bedlam ahead. “Throughout her annual migrations around the sun, Mother Earth blindly follows a strict code of quantum physics and a precise time schedule. She does not know if there is life aboard and cares less. She is on her own mission.”

With regard to the book cover, if you guessed that the author believes himself a descendent of Homo erectus rather than Adam and Eve, you are correct.

Random House and Fawcett, publishers of most of Lee’s earlier books, provided Lee with proofreading services. This book, published by Seahorse Productions, contains syntax errors that Lee says he is correcting in the upcoming second printing, though these faults in no way detract from the powerful message of Owen Lee’s magnum opus.

Mother nature, my Nature is available at Embarcadero near the Playa Municipal basketball court, and at El Rebusque (book store) on Calle las Palapas near the intersection of Calle Cocos downtown. An autographed book may be ordered direct from Owen Lee via e-mail or cell phone 044 755 102 7111 is a wide departure from the author’s previous books, a novel, several skin diving manuals, tourist guides, and just last year, an autobiography. Owen Lee is the American expatriate proprietor of Las Gatas Beach Club. It follows that most of his earlier works were of a tropical bent featuring turquoise waters, coco palms, and white sand beaches. This new book is very different—the clash of science, religion, and Mother Nature.

About the Author: Douglas Beach is a writer living in Zihuatanejo.


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