Thursday, May 4, 2017


The statement I am quoting below opened an interesting awareness for me.

“The point is if we remove some species from a natural system, or change the relationships in that system from how they have developed over time, we need to carry out the functions of the species we have removed.”

This is found on page 135. David Waltner-Toews.  2013. The Origin of Feces.This book is a fascinating exploration of human and animal waste through history to the present.

When I read this, I thought about ― Robert Ruark's, Something Of Value: “When we take away from a man his traditional way of life, his customs, his religion, we had better make certain to replace it with SOMETHING OF VALUE.” I equated this with the natural world where we live.

From the quote, I came to this understanding. For our needs, we humans use our technologies to alter the structures and functions of an environment. For our purposes, we disrupt or remove the interactions of the organic and inorganic components that have been established in a habitat. Our actions penetrate deep in time and space across multiple levels. To minimize or if possible to forestall unintended consequences, we must replicate/mimic the ecological situation we have assaulted.

This has not been our history. We use, deplete, contaminate, throw away and move on.

 Could we truly replicate what has been lost? We could try. This would initiate the same hubris and arrogance that has led us to blindly desecrate the natural world. It would be a caricature of an intricate, living web. Time would enliven it, but it would be other.


  1. Good to hear your timely and insightful words again. Thank you.

  2. Sometimes some one somewhere get's it. The distance between humans and the habitat they destroy is fundamentally changed forever. I find it sad. It is unprecedented.It is killing so many. Eventually all.

  3. "The argument that humanity's abuse of nature subverts the material conditions for our own survival, although surely true, is crassly instrumental. It assumes that human concern for nature rests on self-interest rather than on a feeling for the natural world of which human beings are a part, albeit in a very distinctive way. In such a value system our relationship with nature is neither better nor worse than the success with which we plunder it without harming ourselves. It is another warrant for undermining the natural world, provided only that we can find adequate substitutes, however synthetic, simple, or mechanical, for existing life-forms and ecological relationships. It is precisely this approach that has exacerbated the present ecological crisis." (p. 74. Murray Bookchin, 1996. The Philosophy of Social Ecology: Essays on Dialectical Naturalism. Black Rose Books, Montreal).

  4. "We use, deplete, contaminate, throw away and move on."

    sowing the seeds of our own demise...