Ecology and Ideology

05/11/2013 07:32

by Peter Laska
As a science, ecology studies the interrelationships of living things in their abiotic environments. What this science has discovered is that living arrangements in the earth household (now called ecosystems) are enormously complex. In a now classic work [A Sand County Almanac, 1949] Aldo Leopold wrote that "The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism." Leopold was referring to the fact that life-forms on the planet have co-evolved in complex equilibria we now call ecosystems. An ecosystem with its various niches is an example of a complex evolved equilibrium. To observe life, therefore, in one of its existing arrangements, is to witness the result of evolutionary adjustments that recede into the dim mists of geologic time. The striking emphasis that Leopold placed on this discovery was due in part to the reckless manner in which the human species disrupts these age-old arrangements.  [Read more] ...