Ecology is said to be the study of relationships between living organisms and the environment. Human ecology is said to be the study of human groups and their relationship with the environment. It is a dangerous mistake to separate humans and environment. We are the environment.
Many of us are concerned about ecological issues as the evidence builds up that we are harming our environment and causing it to become unstable. Even our leaders, who are leading us along the primrose path to hell, are noticing - although there is a huge gap between noticing something and doing something sensible and intelligent about it.
Our thoughtless behaviour since the start of the 'industrial revolution' and a long time before is affecting us now and will continue to affect our children for many decades. At the start of the 'industrial revolution' there was ignorance and lack of communication so we can excuse the perpretrators but today with all the knowledge, evidence and instant global communication at our finger-tips there is no excuse to continue behaving as though the earth is expendable and just a free resource to be exploited for profit and gain by the few rich and powerful people acting on greed alone.
Politicians do little - except pay a little lip-service to the ecological problems - and often only to maintain their profile with the gullible electorate.
The rich exploiters of our planet won't start to behave with intelligence or compassion while there is still something free to grab, so it is up to us - the growing number of caring, intelligent people among the masses of the uncaring - to change how things are and might be.
What can we do to help our environment - and our children and their children?
The simple answer is to stop destroying it and change our ways of living but old habits are difficult to change. Adults who have cars are reluctant to give up the freedom to travel easily and why not? There is no problem with traveling providing we don't pollute our environment in doing so. What we really need are cars and vehicles that use nonpolluting and biologically-produced fuel, such as biodiesel (sensibly produced), and to stop using polluting and finite oil supplies to produce petrol, aviation fuel and mineral-diesel oil.
This section covers things connected with living lightly on the land and moving toward a nonpolluting, sustainable way of life but be aware that the only thing that will bring about change is reading this now. You.
Ecological living centres
There are many centres in the UK and the world where people look for and test new technology for moving toward sustainable living. Some address the practicalities, others our mind-sets. Together, these address the problem of the destructive relationship we are having with our environment. One is pragmatic, for instance, fix the problems as some see them. The second is to fix the causes that produce the problems - the major causes behind our eyes.
Many spiritual leaders and philosophical people believe that we act like we do because of our perception of the world around us and if we change the way we think and see our surroundings then we will change how we relate with it and see it as environment that protects and nurtures us against the vacuum and extremes of sterile space.
One such man was Buckminster Fuller who said, 'We only have one earth but it didn't come with an operating manual.' Well, we are the operating manual and we're making an embarrassing and potentially lethal mess of it. Now that we can see pictures of the earth and see how small it is compared to the rest of of our solar system (never mind the universe) we can also see how thin our atmosphere is - the one we are steadily polluting. We need to rethink our relationship with the Earth. It's our only home.
Building ecohouses is one solution operating at a family and personal level and within reach of many people although building an ecohouse is expensive compared with traditional building methods. However, the cost is recouped over twenty years or so in much-reduced energy bills. Ecohouses use minimal energy to heat them, are often made from natural materials found locally - local grown timber, locally sourced clay for roof tiles and therefore reduce transport costs and pollution.
We consume and waste far too much energy - mainly because we refuse to see the whole cost including the ecological aspect of this. What can we do to waste less, save more, reduce global pollution? The answer, as always, is in ourselves but that, it seems, is too simple for most people to grasp.
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