'Nature' may be understood, for environmental purposes, as whatever happens when we, or other agents under the direction of abstract thought, let things be. From this point of view it is accordingly never too late to 'return to nature'. To do so is not to restore a lost set of things or attributes, but rather to allow a certain process to begin anew. This process recommences whenever that which already exists - whether it be of nonhuman or human provenance - is permitted to endure. 'Environmentalism' is thus conceived in broadly Taoist rather than ecological terms, as involving the affirmation of the given.