In one of the Torah's most oft-quoted verses (Genesis 4:9), Kayin (Cain) tells Hashem (according to the Kli Yakar's interpretation): "I did not know I'm my brother's keeper."
Meaning, he did not realize that murder is wrong.
But the Kli Yakar counters with the argument of seichel – reason, common sense:
...and behold this is a mitzvah from the [easily] deduced [mitzvot]...that the seichel obligates you to fulfill this mitzvah even if you were not commanded because in negating it, a man swallows the life of his fellow.
"And the earth would bear desolation without any inhabitant" (Yeshaya 6:11 [includes Rashi]) and therefore, the earth petitions the offense of the murdered one because the existence of the earth depends on upon this [i.e., it depends on the existence of people].
If there would be a loosening of restraint for a man to kill his brother, then it would be impossible for the earth to exist because its existence would be nullified and it would become a dried-up ruin without any inhabitant...
The Earth itself wants us to work it.
It's GOOD for the Earth.
That's the Torah view right there.
This is in direct contrast to what environmentalists and nature-zealots believe.
The Green movements harp on how we're damaging the planet.
And while that may be true to a certain degree in some situations, it's not innately true.
There is no such thing as the purity of nature.
Left to its own devices, nature would overrun & choke itself.
Yes, Judaism provides environmentally friendly halachot about bal tashchit (not wasting stuff), not uprooting fruit trees, Shemittah, and more, but well-tended land is good for the land itself.
For example, flower bushes and trees can wither for lack of pruning and weeding.
Fire also clears dead underbrush from the forest, which allows sunlight to reach the forest floor, which facilitates the growth of vegetation waiting beneath the soil.
No fires, no bird habitats.
So much for nature "preservation."
Interestingly, while "experts" haven't figured out how to "preserve" nature, the beneficial use of nature reaps rewards for all.
I believe this is because nature preservation for its own sake is basically "playing God," which can't work. However, using the natural resources Hashem gifted us is basically fulfilling His Will for both us and the Earth...so He helps us do just that.
Today, many researchers believe that cyclical controlled fires actually prevent the really destructive wildfires that rage out of control.
So human beings can literally fight fire with fire by using controlled fires to prevent out-of-control fires.
Again, controlled fires aren't for the sake of "nature preservation," but for people & property preservation.
Hashem gave us this plant to USE it.
This is correct & truly spiritual thinking.