The theory of evolution by natural selection is an ecological theory-founded on ecological observation by perhaps the greatest of all ecologists. It has been adopted by and brought up by the science of genetics, and ecologists, being modest people, are apt to forget their distinguished parenthood.
John L. Harper
Now observe that in all the propaganda of the ecologists-amidst all their appeals to nature and pleas for 'harmony with nature'-there is no discussion of man's needs and the requirements of his survival. Man is treated as if he were an unnatural phenomenon. Man cannot survive in the kind of state of nature that the ecologists envision-i.e., on the level of sea urchins or polar bears... In order to survive, man has to discover and produce everything he needs, which means that he has to alter his background and adapt it to his needs. Nature has not equipped him for adapting himself to his background in the manner of animals. From the most primitive cultures to the most advanced civilizations, man has had to manufacture things; his well-being depends on his success at production. The lowest human tribe cannot survive without that alleged source of pollution: fire. It is not merely symbolic that fire was the property of the gods which Prometheus brought to man. The ecologists are the new vultures swarming to extinguish that fire.
I believe that humanity now is desperately calling for new ideas. These new ideas must come from spiritual teachers and artists, from poets and philosophers, from educators and ecologists, from postal clerks and miners and traffic cops and nurses and waiters and musicians and cooks and cleaners and from...Regular People Everywhere. That is to say, from YOU.
Neale Donald Walsch
Organisms are starting to move in response to climate change all over the place. Bees are disappearing and we don't have many of the native pollinators left to replace them. We're in deep trouble; there's no question about it. But ecologists tend to think of something that's going to be bad in ten years as very fast, and of course, politicians only think of things in a two-, four-, six-year cycle.
Paul R. Ehrlich
One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is through what ecologists call "mismatch" or "mistiming." This is the process whereby warming causes animals to fall out of step with a critical food source, particularly at breeding times, when a failure to find enough food can lead to rapid population losses.
Economists use the word consume to mean "utilize economic goods," but the Shorter Oxford Dictionary's definition is more appropriate to ecologists: "To make away with or destroy; to waste or to squander; to use up." The economies that cater to the global consumer society are responsible for the lion's share of the damage that humans have inflicted on common global resources.
Alan Thein Durning
While it might surprise many ecologists to hear, capitalism is itself the ultimate form of conservationism. Capitalists seek to conserve resources, not because of sentimental feelings about nature or the earth or whales or worry about the well-being of future generations, but simply because every drop of oil, every ton of ore, every shipment of wood saved is a cost reduction and money in the pocket.
For the social ecologist language is not "communication." It is not just "message." It is substance. It is the cement that holds humanity together. It creates community and communication. Social ecologists need not be "great" writers; but they have to be respectful writers, caring writers.
We can look at the way of improving the key biochemical processes like photosynthesis itself. A lot of energy is lost to keep the plant cool. So maybe we can think of building plants which are more resistant to heat. Genetically modified plants can be one answer and we can imagine more efficient plants, call them 'energy plants'. And I believe, contrary to what ecologists think, they can still be beautiful plants.
We continually make decisions in private which affect the commonweal, as the ecologists (to take but one example) have shown us. When I keep my house warmer than it needs to be, I consume fuel which might help someone else keep warm, or keep a job. When the food I eat is high on the protein chain I contribute to a maldistribution of protein around the world. When I teach my children to be primarily concerned with private gain, I diminish the ranks of public leadership in the rising generation.
Parker J. Palmer
Early ecologists soon realised that, since humans are organisms, ecology should include the study of the relationship between humans and the rest of the biosphere. ... We don't often tend to think about the social sciences (history, economics and politics) as subcategories of ecology. But since people are organisms, it is apparent that we must first understand the principles of ecology if we are to make sense of the events in the human world.
The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtually foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system--whether political, religious or economic--that is rejected by large numbers of the people they are ruling. Just as ecologists define ecosystems by the presence of certain "indicator species" of plants and birds, torture is an indicator species of a regime that is engaged in a deeply anti-democratic project, even if that regime happens to have come to power through elections.
After decades of faithful study, ecologists have begun to fathom hidden likenesses among many interwoven systems. ...a canon of nature's laws, strategies, and principles... Nature runs on sunlight. Nature uses only the energy it needs. Nature fits form to function. Nature recycles everything. Nature rewards cooperation. Nature banks on diversity. Nature demands local expertise. Nature curbs excesses from within. Nature taps the power of limits.
My Prime Minister regards the economy as our highest priority and forgets that economics and ecology are derived from the same Greek word, oikos, meaning household or domain. Ecology is the study of home, while economics is its management. Ecologists try to define the conditions and principles that enable a species to survive and flourish. Yet in elevating the economy above those principles, we seem to think we are immune to the laws of nature. We have to put the 'eco' back into economics.
From Lankaster to Lorenz, scientists have gotten it wrong. Parasites are complex, highly adapted creatures that are at the heart of the story of life. If there hadn't been such high walls dividing scientists who study life - the zoologists, the immunologists, the mathematical biologists, the ecologists - parasites might have been recognized sooner as not disgusting, or at least not merely disgusting. If parasites were so feeble, so lazy, how was it that they could manage to live inside every free-living species and infect billions of people? How could they change with time so that medicines that could once treat them became useless? How could parasites defy vaccines, which could corral brutal killers like smallpox and polio?
No settled family or community has ever called its home place an 'environment.' None has ever called its feeling for its home place 'biocentric' or 'anthropocentric.' None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as 'ecological, ' deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of 'ecology' and 'ecosystems.' But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people. And the real name of our connection to this everywhere different and differently named earth is 'work.' We are connected by work even to the places where we don't work, for all places are connected; it is clear by now that we cannot exempt one place from our ruin of another. The name of our proper connection to the earth is 'good work, ' for good work involves much giving of honor. It honors the source of its materials; it honors the place where it is done; it honors the art by which it is done; it honors the thing that it makes and the user of the made thing. Good work is always modestly scaled, for it cannot ignore either the nature of individual places or the differences between places, and it always involves a sort of religious humility, for not everything is known. Good work can be defined only in particularity, for it must be defined a little differently for every one of the places and every one of the workers on the earth. The name of our present society's connection to the earth is 'bad work' - work that is only generally and crudely defined, that enacts a dependence that is ill understood, that enacts no affection and gives no honor. Every one of us is to some extent guilty of this bad work. This guilt does not mean that we must indulge in a lot of breast-beating and confession; it means only that there is much good work to be done by every one of us and that we must begin to do it.