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Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science by David Oates PDF

By David Oates

ISBN-10: 0585256020

ISBN-13: 9780585256023

ISBN-10: 0870713574

ISBN-13: 9780870713576

ISBN-10: 0870713582

ISBN-13: 9780870713583

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Additional resources for Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science

Sample text

Earth and all its creatures form one biosphere. Along with this affecting sense of earth's unity, however, comes the sobering sense of how finite it is, and how overloaded are its finite systems. The ecology movement was not born out of a photo. It was galvanized into life in response to enormous problems: overpopulation, pollution, and resource scarcity. All were problems of finitude, limitednessthat circular self-containedness so vivid in the photo- Page 22 graph. The population could not expand forever without encountering the natural ceiling of the biosphere's carrying capacity.

At its core, the ecological worldview relies on a few fundamental concepts derived directly from the scientific study of ecosystems: holism, balance, cooperation, and the cybernetic system. But the ecological worldview is not a science: it is a belief system extrapolated from one. " Ecological thinking characteristically originates in a genuine scientific insight or concept. But as a popular worldview, ecologism often does not keep pace with changes and refinements in the scientific picture. The worldview will thus occasionally appall the scientist, who will notice old formulations, minority viewpoints, or oversimplifications.

Their well-known demographic cloutover half the nation's population was under thirty in 1972made their fads America's fashions. And the outdoors quickly became the campus favorite, as students readily added to their already-popular blue jeans items of mountaineering gear from the quickly proliferating specialty stores and catalogues: down parkas, huge red-laced boots, knapsacks with prestige makers' labels prominently displayed. One might have thought, in looking over a college campus on a coolish day, that everyone was just back from the wilderness.

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Earth Rising: Ecological Belief in an Age of Science by David Oates

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