Conservation Practices : A Web Resource List

 

Conservation Practices : A Web Resource List

 

Unsettled Science Behind Proposal to Lift Gray Wolf Protections, Panel Says

http://www.livescience.com/43213-unsettled-science-gray-wolf-peer-review.html

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The Deceit of Yes/No Conservation

If you care about a healthy planet, conservation and environmental groups should stop selling environmental choices as simple, and concerned citizens should expand their understanding of global markets and dynamics to understand what’s truly at stake.

http://blog.nature.org/science/2015/08/17/the-deceit-of-yesno-conservation/

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A very informative one page PDF summary by the National Park Service about the effects of human made poisons (like rat poison) on local wildlife. How these poisons work themselves up the food chain.

http://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/news/upload/RodenticideInfographic_Apr2014.pdf

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Another informative web page by the National Park Service on avoiding unintentional poisoning of wildlife

http://www.nps.gov/samo/learn/management/rodenticides.htm

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Walt Reid on Conservation Bright Spots & Systems Versus Species Thinking

http://blog.nature.org/science/2014/05/07/conservation-leaders-walt-reid/

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Conservation’s blind spot: The case for conflict transformation in wildlife conservation

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320714002778

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How does eating meat impact your water footprint? it requires 1,799 gallons of water to produce one pound of meat. One steer consumes over one million gallons of water over its short lifetime.

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/how-does-eating-meat-impact-your-water-footprint/

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Why you need to care about wildlife conservation. A great article that emphasizes a consciousness for connections in Nature.

http://landlopers.com/2013/12/29/wildlife-conservation/

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Restoration of Riparian Areas Following the Removal of Cattle in the Northwestern Great Basin

http://www.cof.orst.edu/leopold/papers/Batchelor2015_EM.pdf

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-02/s-cdt021915.php

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Why you need to care about wildlife conservation

http://landlopers.com/2013/12/29/wildlife-conservation

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Should we conserve for Nature’s sake, or for our own sake?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-a-vucetich/should-we-conserve-nature_b_6722048.html

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“Novel ecosystems” are a Trojan horse for conservation

http://ensia.com/voices/novel-ecosystems-are-a-trojan-horse-for-conservation/

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So many conservationists and biologists get side-tracked trying to “manage” wild spaces that they forget that even seemingly small changes in an ecological environment can have big consequences.

http://susan-thrasher.blogspot.mx/2014/09/connections-in-nature.html

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The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation and Who Pays for It

http://wildlifeconservationstamp.org/the-north-american-model-of-wildlife-conservation-and-who-pays-for-it/

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Why E O Wilson is wrong about how to save the Earth

https://aeon.co/opinions/why-e-o-wilson-is-wrong-about-how-to-save-the-earth

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Why We Are Not As Doomed As We Think

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/21/opinions/sutter-earth-day-hope/

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http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com/wyoming-stock-growers-land-trust-conserves-ranch-agriculture-sage-grouse/

Wyoming Stock Growers Land Trust Conserves Ranch for Agriculture & Sage Grouse

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Establishing Conservation Easements

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1VPWuTHJ7U&feature=youtu.be&list=PLbQnrJD6rX925l9iSGPQnJaO1QiKNGS3W

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtlx9sWJscY&list=PLbQnrJD6rX925l9iSGPQnJaO1QiKNGS3W&index=1&t=3s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=laf_VaZ2Il0&index=2&list=PLbQnrJD6rX925l9iSGPQnJaO1QiKNGS3W&t=2s

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Why the Passenger Pigeon Went Extinct

http://www.audubonmagazine.org/articles/birds/why-passenger-pigeon-went-extinct

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Gardening the forest. You can’t manage a forest with chainsaws or by culling wildlife. The US Forest service, and other government agencies, are wrong. They don’t understand how ecosystems work.

http://www.eugeneweekly.com/20141016/GUEST-VIEWPOINT/GARDENING-FOREST

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The Netherlands has 600 bridges to help animals get across highways safely!

https://twitter.com/beautifulepics/status/524848137329209344/photo/1

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Down by the River

A riverbank restoration revives a desert city

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/article/8355

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Monarch population increases amid plans to build 1500-mile migration corridor

http://conservationcorridor.org/2016/04/monarch-population-increases-amid-plans-to-build-1500-mile-migration-corridor/

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A ‘Bee Highway’ Was Built in Oslo to Protect Pollinators

One-third of Norway’s 200 wild bee species are endangered. Environmentalists hope this innovative ‘highway’ will help save them.

http://www.alternet.org/environment/bee-highway-was-built-oslo-protect-pollinators?utm_content=buffer95440&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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For More Wonder, Rewild The World

http://www.ted.com/talks/george_monbiot_for_more_wonder_rewild_the_world?language=en

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Habitat Restoration – Do We Know What We Are Doing?

http://millerlab.nres.illinois.edu/pdfs/Habitat%20Restoration%20-%20Do%20We%20Know%20What%20We’re%20Doing.pdf

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The Importance of the Natural Sciences to Conservation

http://cima.uprm.edu/~n_schizas/CMOB_8785/natural%20sciences%20conservation.pdf

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I Love to see international conservation programs like his

Biologists from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico Collaborate for North America’s Fastest Land Animal

http://www.newswise.com/articles/biologists-from-the-u-s-canada-and-mexico-collaborate-for-north-america-s-fastest-land-animal

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Conservation hunting: Boon to wildlife or unjustifiable sport?

http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/20/us/conservation-hunting-right-or-wrong/index.html#

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Is natural history still relevant for conservation science? I’m concerned that the question is even being raised.
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George Monbiot on rewilding
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When Renewables Destroy Nature. How Integrating Society Into Nature Can Be Bad For Both
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From Norbert Hoeller: Intervention by aborigines may have increased biodiversity and stability while a narrow focus on conservation may have reduced resilience. Every species influences its environment – shades of grey rather than ‘black and white’
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Monarch butterfly conservation efforts target unused green spaces
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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

Please Comment and Subscribe

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter using the sign-up form provided at the upper right corner of this web page. As a subscriber you will receive regular email announcements of new essays that I publish or popular essays that i have previously published. In these essays you will have the opportunity to share comments and ideas about a topic. Your security is important to me. Please know that your email address is never distributed to anyone.

 

You are strongly encouraged to become one of my 11,000+ followers on Twitter. My Twitter ID is @ballenamar . With Twitter, in addition to receiving daily Tweets that announce my essays, you will see when I retweet something that I read and that I think is important.

 

Environmental Ethics : A Web Resource List

Human morality and its impact on the environment. – A Web Resource List

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From Trophy Hunting to Species Extinction.   A mounted head or showing off your wealth is apparently more valuable than a species threatened with extinction.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julia-orr/from-trophy-hunting-to-species_b_8034600.html

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Setting Aside Half The Earth For ‘Rewilding’: The Ethical Dimension.

The famous biologist and naturalist, E.O.Wilson, would do this by establishing huge biodiversity parks to protect, restore and connect habitats at a continental scale. Local people would be integrated into these parks as environmental educators, managers and rangers – a model drawn from existing large-scale conservation projects.

http://www.iflscience.com/environment/setting-aside-half-earth-rewilding-ethical-dimension

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Scientists say that we are super good at killing stuff. Humans don’t really need another reason to feel like the greatest species on Earth, so far removed from Nature that we can basically do whatever we want with it. Scientists in British Columbia have officially dubbed us “super predators.”

http://grist.org/news/scientists-say-were-super-good-at-killing-stuff/

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Principles of an Ecological Morality: Integrating Values and Ethics for Natural and Human Systems

http://www.davidbothered.com/?p=1123

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Understanding Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic

https://www.aldoleopold.org/post/understanding-land-ethic/

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Why Edward Abbey Still Matters

http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/why_edward_abbey_still_matters/

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Donald Trump and the decline of America’s moral character

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/10/donald-trump-and-the-decline-of-americas-moral-ecology.php

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Moral ecology and climate change

https://thevirtueblog.com/2016/01/08/moral-ecology-and-climate-change/

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Pope Francis’s Vision of a Moral Ecology Will Challenge Both Republicans and Democrats

https://newrepublic.com/article/122061/pope-franciss-vision-moral-ecology-will-challenge-both-parties

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Environmental Ethics from Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_ethics

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Shepherds of Creation: Moral Ecology in a Technocratic Age

http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/08/04/4286739.htm

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Deep Ecology & Virtue Ethics

https://philosophynow.org/issues/26/Deep_Ecology_and_Virtue_Ethics

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Environmental Ethics

http://www.iep.utm.edu/envi-eth/

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The Ecological Crisis: A Moral Problem

http://www.pullen.org/2015/06/21/the-ecological-crisis-a-moral-problem/

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The Ecological and Ethical Impact of the Border Wall Between Mexico and the United States

 

Border Walls Aren’t Just Political Objects—They’re Ecological Barriers, Too

https://orionmagazine.org/2015/09/border-walls-arent-just-political-objects-theyre-ecological-barriers-too/?utm_source=Fresh+September+17%2C+2015&utm_campaign=FRESH+9%2F17%2F15&utm_medium=email

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Images Of The Borderland

This video is a collection of sights and sounds within fifty miles of either side of the US Mexican border starting at San Diego California and ending at Puerto Isabella Texas. We ask the viewer to consider in what way this strip of land has become its own country.

http://vimeo.com/15096917

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Highly recommended!!! A new collaborative virtual story map that that helps communicate the nuances and realities of the borderlands.

http://nextgensd.com/embattled-borderlands

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Wild Versus Wall. A video produced for the Sierra Club. The video concerns the ecological effects of new enforcement infrastructure on the U.S./Mexico border.

https://vimeo.com/9561480

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What would Trump’s wall mean for wildlife?

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37200583

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Scientific American report. Building a border wall is an act of self-sabotage,

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trumps-wall-could-cause-serious-environmental-damage/

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NPR report – The Environmental Consequences Of A Wall On The U.S.-Mexico Border

http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/17/514356130/the-environmental-consequences-of-a-wall-on-the-u-s-mexico-border

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Newsweek – THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE U.S.-MEXICO BORDER WALL

http://www.newsweek.com/2016/02/26/environmental-impact-us-mexico-border-wall-426310.html

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Splitting the Land in Two: Ecological Effects of Border Militarization

http://afgj.org/splitting-the-land-in-two-ecological-effects-of-border-militarization

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Washington Post –  Border walls are bad for wildlife

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/animalia/wp/2016/11/01/border-walls-are-bad-for-wildlife/?utm_term=.48ccad742ed3

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KCET – Trump’s border wall would be a disaster for wildlife

https://www.kcet.org/redefine/trumps-border-wall-would-be-a-disaster-for-wildlife

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University of Texas law school briefing document on the impact of a border wall. Excellent analysis

https://law.utexas.edu/humanrights/borderwall/analysis/briefing-The-Environmental-Impacts-of-the-Border-Wall.pdf

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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

Please Comment and Subscribe

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter using the sign-up form provided at the upper right corner of this web page. As a subscriber you will receive regular email announcements of new essays that I publish or popular essays that i have previously published. In these essays you will have the opportunity to share comments and ideas about a topic. Your security is important to me. Please know that your email address is never distributed to anyone.

 

You are strongly encouraged to become one of my 11,000+ followers on Twitter. My Twitter ID is @ballenamar . With Twitter, in addition to receiving daily Tweets that announce my essays, you will see when I retweet something that I read and that I think is important.

 

Energy Flow In Nature: A Web Resource List

 

Energy Flow In Nature’s Ecosystems: A Web Resource List

 
Energy Powers All Living Systems
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Cellular Respiration
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Energy Flow and Matter Cycle in Living Systems – An excellent high school instruction video
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Energy Flow In Living Systems – An excellent summary video designed for a high school class.
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Photosynthesis Video
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A written summary of a very interesting lecture about food webs given by Jennifer Dunne at Santa Fe Institute. She portrays a hidden order in ecosystems using the studies of ecology and network theory.
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“One of the issues that sometimes get overlooked when it comes to conservation biology, is that nothing in nature lives in a vacuum – each species is inextricably linked to a network of other species through a series of ecological interactions, and usually they cannot exist without them. That is something to keep in mind for people who think that if a species was to go extinct, then we can simply “resurrect” them through cloning (that is if we even have the technology to be able to do that.”
 
This quote is KEY to what my blog site is all about. It comes from a Google+ post on fungi and orchids in old-growth forests. Old-growth forests are great testaments to the need for connectivity in Nature that facilitates Her vital energy flow.
 
The actual article is here.
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Some good images of food webs from Pinterest. These are things that can be used in your classroom presentations on connections in Nature.
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A nicely illustrated web page from National Geographic on food webs.
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Food Webs: Concepts and Applications from the Knowledge Project
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What is the difference between a food web and a food chain?
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A really great series of lessons by he BBC on feeding relationships
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Energy flow in ecosystems. A wikipedia page
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Who eats what in a food chain?
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Is everything in this universe just pure energy?
This page includes a video called “Thunderbolts of the Gods”
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Food Webs and Energy Pyramids: Bedrocks of Biodiversity
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What are some good examples of trophic cascades like the wolves of Yellowstone?
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Trophic cascade basics
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A Wolf’s Role in the Ecosystem – The Trophic Cascade
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Killer Whales Are Causing A Trophic Cascade
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How Sea Otters Help Save The Planet
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Ecosystem Effects by Removing Sharks & Trophic Cascades
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Trophic Cascades In A Formerly Cod-Dominated Ecosystem
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Trophic levels of food chains
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What Are the Trophic Levels in Our Ecosystem?
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Food chains and food webs
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An interesting blog that examines the science of flow – how energy travels through natural systems, the patterns it produces on its way http://bit.ly/1clK8yM
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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

Please Comment and Subscribe

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter using the sign-up form provided at the upper right corner of this web page. As a subscriber you will receive regular email announcements of new essays that I publish or popular essays that i have previously published. In these essays you will have the opportunity to share comments and ideas about a topic. Your security is important to me. Please know that your email address is never distributed to anyone.

 

You are strongly encouraged to become one of my 11,000+ followers on Twitter. My Twitter ID is @ballenamar . With Twitter, in addition to receiving daily Tweets that announce my essays, you will see when I retweet something that I read and that I think is important.

 

Nature’s Living Systems : A Web Resource List

Nature’s Living Systems : A Web Resource List

Living systems are open self-organizing life forms that interact with themselves and with their environment. These systems are maintained by flows of information, energy and matter. All ecosystems are living systems. They are interdependent networks that maintain the flow of life’s vital energy.
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Wikipedia On Living Systems
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A Teachers’ Guidebook for Applying Systems Thinking to Environmental Education Curricula for Grades 9-12. This is an EXCELLENT series of lesson plans for teaching systems thinking and living systems
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5 ways ‘systems thinking’ can jumpstart action
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Network thinking in ecology and evolution
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Why natural networks are more stable than man-made networks
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From Small to Large Ecological Networks in a Dynamic World
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The Hidden Power Laws of Ecosystems
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The predominance of quarter-power scaling in biology
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Connections In Nature – A Webinar Presentation
This is a webinar presentation that I gave to the National Biodiversity Teachin earlier this year.
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A “slideshare” presentation on connections in Nature. I like this one and may be using it in my classroom
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My focus on connections in Nature includes evolution.
This web page is an exciting story about the discovery of an “anatomical mix between fish and a land-living animal.”
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Scientists review worldwide rise of “network of networks”. Further indications that there is a unity of interconnectedness in Nature.
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Uncovering complex network structures in Nature
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We are all made from stardust. Toward a new periodic table of elements.
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A comprehensive description and review of the Gaia hypothesis
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Gaia Theory Website
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It has recently been found that a connection to nature is as important for wellbeing as established social factors.
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 Waking Up In An Ecological Age – Molly Young Brown. An EXCELLENT summary of the history of modern systems/holistic thinking in ecology
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Introduction to Living Systems — by Molly Young Brown
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 A Basic Written Description Of Living Systems Theory
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Feedback loops allow living organisms to maintain homeostasis
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Earth’s Web of Life – A blog essay
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The Web of Life:A New Understanding of Living Systems By Fritjof Capra. This is a good, short summary of his important book
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Celebrating The Beauty of Living Systems – Video
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The Unity of Living Systems
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An Annenberg Learner video lesson on living systems
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An overview of systems thinking
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Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing “problems” as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences. Systems thinking is not one thing but a set of habits or practices.
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From Learning For Sustainability
Standing in contrast to positivist and reductionist thinking, systems thinking sets out to view systems in a holistic manner. Consistent with systems philosophy, systems thinking concerns an understanding of a system by examining the linkages and interactions between the elements that comprise the whole of the system.
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Food Security and Sustainability: Systems thinking and environmental sustainability
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Systems Thinking Concepts For Environmental Education
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Introduction To Systems Thinking: A slideshare presentation
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The Declaration of Interdependence was written by David Suzuki and others back in 1992 for the United Nations’ Earth Summit as a spirited call to action and a “pledge to Planet Earth”.
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Ecological Interactions. A nice written summary.
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The Web of Life: Humans as a Part of Complex Ecological Networks. A 50 minute lecture by Jennifer Dunne of Santa Fe Institute.
Traditionally, most ecological research has studied ecosystems as separate from humans. Jennifer Dunne shows how humans fit into and impact ecosystems through their myriad interactions with other species. She then explores how the science of ecological networks can help meet the pressing need to understand the roles of humans in ecosystems, particularly in terms of resource use and consumption. With examples from pre-industrial hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies, she will explore potential lessons for modern humans in fostering a more sustainable future.
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Human activities that affect the ecosystem
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The Interconnected Web Of Life: We Are One
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Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life.    An outline of the new understanding of life that is now emerging at the forefront of science. It is a conception of life based on systemic thinking and some of the new concepts and mathematical techniques of complexity theory. It allows us for the first time to integrate the biological, cognitive, and social dimensions of life”
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Chief Seattle’s Web of Life
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The Interconnected Web Of Life: We Are One
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A great video on complexity in Nature
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Complexity theory tutorial
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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

Please Comment and Subscribe

I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter using the sign-up form provided at the upper right corner of this web page. As a subscriber you will receive regular email announcements of new essays that I publish or popular essays that i have previously published. In these essays you will have the opportunity to share comments and ideas about a topic. Your security is important to me. Please know that your email address is never distributed to anyone.

 

You are strongly encouraged to become one of my 11,000+ followers on Twitter. My Twitter ID is @ballenamar . With Twitter, in addition to receiving daily Tweets that announce my essays, you will see when I retweet something that I read and that I think is important.

 

Man’s Impact On Nature : A Web Resource List

Man’s Impact On Nature : A Web Resource List

Edward O. Wilson Explains ‘The Meaning of Human Existence’
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What kind of person trophy hunts??? An interesting article about the kind of person who kills animals for their own pleasure and ego satisfaction.
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The human super predator revealed. Hunters and fishers dominate exploitation of the world’s prey
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27 Images That Prove That We Are In Danger
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How Humans Save Nature. A different perspective. What do you think?
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Humans are the worst predators on the planet
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Human activities that threaten biodiversity
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The world’s mad obsession with unlimited growth (check out the great hamster video at: 
Also see:
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MIDWAY, a Message from the Gyre is a short film. It is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.
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Did Marius The Giraffe Have To Die?
I get so tired of these senseless killings by man who think they are experts on Nature. There were plenty of other alternatives !!!
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Isis are not the only ones committing great acts of vandalism.
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Our consumption is trashing a natural world infinitely more fascinating and intricate than the stuff we produce
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When our economic interests are at stake, the war on nature resumes
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It’s time to shout stop on this war on the living world
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We need a new law to protect our wildlife from critical decline
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Ripping up the sea floor on behalf of royal profits
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Humans interfere with nature’s balance — Consider pythons and poinsettias
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Man in the Realm of Nature
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Should we intervene in Nature to Help Animals?
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Damming evidence of human interference
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Natural and Human Disturbances That Affect An Ecosystem
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 Natural and Human Impacts on Wildlife
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Human Activities that Affect the Ecosystem
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How Do Humans Affect the Environment?
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Human-caused environmental change: Impacts on plant diversity and evolution
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Poachers kill more game animals than wolves
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Five ways that industrial agriculture is killing the environment
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Do hunters know best?
 
It has become the mantra of the hunting industry:  hunter, presumably because they spend time in the field hunting something to kill, know more about how nature and wildlife work than non-hunters.  They chide non-hunters, city slickers, tree huggers, who they say have an unrealistic, “Bambi” understanding of nature, one where bunnies cavort with foxes, in a Disneyland atmosphere.  It is because of this “vast” knowledge that hunters smugly contend that they have the inside track on what is best for wildlife, conveniently this means hunting them!  And so, what they say goes.
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As people earn more, they want to eat more meat. But what if eating meat wrecks the planet? An interesting commentary by Bill Gates
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We live in a mathletes’ day of big data and smart cities, when computer models and cutting-edge algos promise to make the world an ever more explicable, predictable place. And yet we’re also inundated with all kinds of crises that few saw coming and even fewer know how to deal with: the financial crisis and European debt debacle, terrorism, civil wars, Ebola.
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We’re constantly trading elements of ourselves with the environment (and vice versa), and we are, therefore, inseparable from it. A very interesting blog post by Dr. Sally Wengrover
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Confirming What We Already Know: Human Health Is Linked To Nature
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When humans go extinct: How life will evolve after we’re gone?
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Awesome Abandoned Places Around the World Occupied by Animals
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Man’s conscious communication with the natural world – and the incredible response.
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Many people still aren’t comfortable admitting they’re animals. And this supremacist attitude is reflected in everything they do in regard to our fellow species. Anyone who has been following the wolf issue since gray wolves were removed from the Endangered Species List in a handful of backward states has certainly noticed a rapid backslide pertaining to how wolves are perceived, treated and “managed” by those bent on dragging us back to the dark ages for animals—the Nineteenth Century—when concepts like bounties, culls and contest huntgs were commonplace. Hunters and ranchers in the tri-state area surrounding Yellowstone National Park, as well as in the Great Lakes region, are doing everything they can to resurrect the gory glory days of the 1800s, and wolves are paying the ultimate price. See: http://exposingthebiggame.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/2013-the-year-of-the-big-backslide/
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A sad commentary on the invasion of mankind into Nature without respect for other creatures.
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Human activities that threaten biodiversity
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The world’s mad obsession with unlimited growth (check out the great hamster video at: 
Also see:
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Natural and Human Impacts on Wildlife
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Human Activities that Affect the Ecosystem
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How Do Humans Affect the Environment?
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Human-caused environmental change: Impacts on plant diversity and evolution
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Externalities –  David Suzuki speaks about the the fallacy of conventional economics – a belief that there are no limits to growth – and makes an emotional appeal to economists to include the biosphere and life itself in their economic models.
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David Suzuki speaks about overpopulation
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 Overpopulation vs. Overconsumption
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Overpopulation — The More The Merrier???
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What You Should Know About Human Overpopulation. It took from the dawn of humanity until the 19th century to reach a billion people on the planet. It took just over 200 years afterwards to add 6.2 billion more. With more and more people and ever dwindling resources, what are we to do?
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Alexandra Paul on human overpopulation.
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Population and the Environment: The Global Challenge
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Nova’s web page on population and the environment
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Wikipedia on Human Overpopulation. 
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Why current population overgrowth is costing us the earth.
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Our Dangerous Conservation Crisis –  Our challenge in conserving wild creatures is human ecology—the world’s dominant, disrupting ecological force.
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Money, greed and the destruction of Nature web of life
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Humans and Nature : Can The Gulf Be Bridged ?
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The 9 limits of our planet … and how we’ve raced past 4 of them
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Conservation In The Anthropocene – Beyond Solitude and Fragility
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Things to consider the next time you buy meat.
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Agriculture and overuse greater threats to wildlife than climate change – study
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Our Dangerous Conservation Crisis –  Our challenge in conserving wild creatures is human ecology—the world’s dominant, disrupting ecological force.
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Human activities that affect the ecosystem
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Want To Save The Planet? Stop Having Children !!
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A growing debate has serious consequences for our collective relationship to Nature. Beginning perhaps twenty years ago, a number of academics in disciplines such as history, anthropology, and geography, began to question whether there was any tangible wilderness or wild lands left on Earth. These academics, and others, have argued that humans have so completely modified the Earth, we should give up on the notion that there is anyplace wild and instead recognize that we have already domesticated, in one fashion or another, the entire planet for human benefit.
 
Anthropocene Boosters and the Attack on Wilderness Conservation
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Oren Lyons – We Are Part Of The Earth
Please take the time to listen to this powerful video about who you are.
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Hunting is NOT Conservation. Although the means in which these animals are killed and why they’re killed varies, one constant remains: their lives end for personal enjoyment or profit. Sport hunting is, at best, a friendly name given to an inhumane act in an attempt to make it seem socially acceptable and fair.
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Top Predator on the Plains: Wolf, Bear, or Human
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Hunting by humans cannot replace the role of top predators.
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Penn State study revealing how deer react to hunters. Gun noise produces evasive behavior changes in a given geographic area  but cross-bow hunting does not. The picture of the young trophy hunter in this story makes me real sick. I’m an idealist. I say, stop hunting altogether and restore our key predators. Quit trying to justify hunting with convenient “facts”.
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Forget Hunter’s Feeble Rationalizations and Trust Your Gut Feelings: Making Sport of Killing Is Not Healthy Human Behavior
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What does it mean to preserve nature in the Age of Humans?
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For decades, poet-philosopher and radical environmentalist Derrick Jensen has warned us about the problems of civilization. Yet he’s a tireless activist with hope for the planet’s future. I particularly love this quote from the article:
 
” The time after is a time of magic. Not the magic of parlor tricks, not the magic of smoke and mirrors, distractions that point one’s attention away from the real action. No, this magic is the real action. This magic is the embodied intelligence of the world and its members. This magic is the rough skin of sharks without which they would not swim so fast, so powerfully. This magic is the long tongues of butterflies and the flowers that welcome them. This magic is the brilliance of fruits and berries that grow to be eaten by those that then distribute their seeds along with the nutrients necessary for new growth. This magic is the work of fungi that join trees and mammals and bacteria to create a forest. This magic is the billions of beings in a handful of soil. This magic is the billions of beings that live inside you, that make it possible for you to live.”
When I Dream of the Planet in Recovery
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Why humans run the world
A very interesting perspective by history professor Yuval Noah Harari
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The Greening Of Self: The Most Important Development of Modern Times
By Joanna Macy  — Defining our self in the order of things.  Something is shifting here.
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Six Things To Know About Earth’s 6th Mass Extinction. 
A new study reports the long-suspected collapse of wildlife is ‘already under way.’ At least five similar die-offs have happened before, but this is the first in human history — and the first with human help.
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Good news and bad news. The Southern Ocean is absorbing more carbon dioxide than ever.
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The Sagebrush Grouse Story. Its steep decline is a tragic story of man breaking important connections in Nature.
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How common everyday unexceptional human beings teach Intellectuals to more fully appreciate Nature
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Mother Nature Is Speaking. A new series of videos narrated by Julia Roberts, Robert Redford, Penélope Cruz, and other actors as they provide first person perspectives of Nature as they proclaim that  Nature doesn’t need people, but people need Nature. . Really great !!!!
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Pope Francis: We Are ‘Stewards, Not Masters’ of the Earth
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10 key excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical on the environment
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I’m a big fan of Dr. David Suzuki whose gift with the pen and his expertise as a speaker have made him one of our most revered environmental advocates. He backs up his statements with scientific fact. Here is his article entitled: People’s Consumptive Demands Undermine Planet’s Life-Support Systems
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Why Do I Write These Essays?

Nothing in Nature exists in isolation. The movement of life’s energy, which originates in the sun, takes place because everything is interconnected and interdependent. Your consciousness of interdependence in Nature means that, every time you engage Nature, you ask yourself how a creature, a plant, yourself, or a natural object is connected to another and to Nature’s greater scheme of things. With this awareness you are prepared to protect Nature’s environment that sustains you. And, you create your legacy by encouraging others to do likewise.

 

If, after reading my essays, you find yourself embracing these ideas, I am thrilled in knowing that I’ve played some small part in setting this world view in motion in your mind.

 

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A Legacy Worldview – Teach The Children Well

How do those of us who care and are aware face the grim dilemma of an unsustainable human population? Most certainly, conservation through obedience doesn’t work. Rules and policemen don’t teach anything. Laws, rules, and regulations can easily be ignored if one avoids individuals in law enforcement. The most likely and effective process is through education. However, the current attitudes of many members of the adult human population limit receptiveness to the idea of environmental education. Indeed, we have lost a large part of the adult population who will continue to live in unsustainable ways.

 

Nonetheless, education builds consciousness. It builds a capability to make good environmental decisions that are available to everyone — not just scientists and administrators. The challenge of environmental education is to build a legacy of conservation-minded people. Whether you are an educator or a student, your challenge is to pass on this legacy through your knowledge and your energy. Your job is to build a network of environmentally aware people through your example. In doing so, you will help build a future with people who care for the home in which we humans must live.  That is what this essay is all about.

Many people and groups are beginning to realize that building this new environmental awareness can happen only in our children and in our youth. Young people are not yet culturally conditioned to a way of life where Nature is ignored. Young people are open to new ideas and new world views.  The fresh minds of young people respond to facts and learn through awe and wonder. These young minds have the potential of becoming the next generation of environmental leaders.

 

Energy flow conduits in Nature are much more than the food webs and energy flow that we see in Nature. It is the connection between human beings where a conscience based on knowledge and conservation awareness is passed on to other human beings. Education through legacy building is the best and most empowering conservation strategy that is available to us humans. Passing on ideas through education builds a consciousness — a capability to make good ecological decisions by everyone. — not just scientists and administrators.

 

What message do we present to our youth? The message must start with the fundamental premise that nothing on this earth exists solely on its own. Everything is dependent upon everything else. Because of the vital importance of Nature’s energy flow and the conduits that transport and transform this energy,  the basic theme of any environmental education program needs to be built on the premise that everything in Nature is connected. Understanding this fundamental idea of interdependence in Nature is a crucial first step to effectively conserving our planet. 

Therefore, the basic objective of environmental education is to build a “connectivity consciousness” in our youth in hopes that our youth will build a legacy that influences the generations that follow them. This makes the relationships between generations an important connection in Nature. This idea of generation connectivity amplifies the huge importance and responsibility of environmental educators.

 

Through hands-on, place-based education that emphasizes inquiry-learning, we can develop a consciousness for the interdependency of all forms of Nature. A consciousness that recognizes and accepts the fact that, for Nature at all levels to exist, everything in our universe, in our world, and in our local communities is connected. We can build this consciousness in our youth by offering ways to identify, understand, and preserve vital connections in Nature as well as the ecosystems that embrace these connections.

 

In a profound message called “Teach The Children”, poet Mary Oliver  says:
“Teach the children. We don’t matter so much, but the children do. Show them daisies and the pale hepatica. Teach them the taste of sassafras and wintergreen. The lives of the blue sailors, mallow, sunbursts, the moccasin flowers. And the frisky ones—inkberry, lamb’s-quarters, blueberries. And the aromatic ones—rosemary, oregano. Give them peppermint to put in their pockets as they go to school. Give them the fields and the woods and the possibility of the world salvaged from the lords of profit. Stand them in the stream, head them upstream, rejoice as they learn to love this green space they live in, its sticks and leaves and then the silent, beautiful blossoms. Attention is the beginning of devotion.”
Children and youth up to and including age 25 represent 50% of the human population. If teaching methods make a subject interesting for each age group, children and youth are receptive to the awe and wonder of Nature. They will participate in activities that will reinforce the learning process.  They love to look, touch, feel, smell, and taste.

In turn, children and youth can influence adult members in their family. Children and youth can also influence the next generation. The idea of legacy education is a powerful conservation tool over the years. Let us assume that you have an environmental education class of 20 young minds. Let us also assume that you are able to significantly influence two (10%)  of these people to a point that they are able to eventually influence two other young people to a point of action. And so on. Over ten years,1,024 people will be strongly influenced by your singular influence in one year. If you do this for 10 years, your effort will result in 102,400 new stewards of Nature. If your success rate is 15% instead of 10%, your legacy from a 10-year effort will be 590,490 people. If your success rate is 20%, your legacy from a 10-year program will be 10,485,760 people. If there are 10,000 environmental educators providing significant influence to only 10% of their students, their legacy will be 10,240,000 young people becoming significant stewards of Nature. This very basic mathematical exercise demonstrates the significance and power of legacy building. By empowering a small group of students each year, one is able to eventually create a huge cadre of influential stewards of Nature well in advance of the projected 50-year date when it is thought that the human race will be in mortal danger of collapse due to its own ignorance.

 

Multiplying and spreading your knowledge and example to others is a powerful conservation strategy. By educating locally, but thinking globally, you become the initiator of a network of social energy that can grow and save Nature from human destruction. Your influence now can help build a future positive equilibrium in, at least, some corners of Nature’s existence.

 

Conservation is the act of identifying, understanding,  preserving, and protecting Nature’s energy flow. Legacy building – passing it on to others – must be added to our definition of conserving Nature. Legacy building is empowering environmental stewards, directly or indirectly, at all ages and within all disciplines.

The legacy worldview incorporates both the systems worldview that was explored in the second essay and the environmental ethics discussed in the fourth essay. These two subjects are seemingly unrelated. However, both worldviews address interrelationships. The systems worldview focuses on the technical truths about Nature’s interrelated systems while the ethical worldview focuses on the qualities and guidelines for human interaction within Nature’s ecosystems. The legacy worldview passes on facts and guidelines for action through the transfer of ideas to other groups and future generations. The legacy worldview represents the positive influence that is so badly needed if humanity is to survive on Earth. Here are two examples of young people and their mentors building a legacy of environmental consciousness. 

 

The Green Team

 

I am privileged to mentor a group of 10 incredible high school seniors in an environmental education program in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico. My students use hands-on, place-based, Socratic (inquiry-based) teaching strategies to help young people in the primary grades understand the flow of Nature’s energy and why everything in Nature is interconnected. This program, called the “Green Team”, uses a local estuary as the “classroom”. Being the “resident biologist”, my job is to provide the technical information necessary for the Green Team to build an effective teaching package. However, the actual teaching activities are conducted by my students.

Typically, the Green Team first provides a 45 minute in-class oral and video Socratic session to introduce the ideas about energy flow in Nature. Within a week of this activity, the students take a field trip to a local estuary. First, they participate in the “string game” activity where they learn about the complex connections in the ecosystem. Then, they enter a mangrove ecosystem, get wet, and trace Nature’s energy flow from the sun, through the mangrove system, into the estuary water plane, and out to sea. This activity is heavy with sensory activities. And, finally, the students participate in a “What did you see?” session.

 

The Green Team participates in legacy building. First, I passed the information on to my students. Then, they passed what they learned to younger students. With time, we hope that the younger students will become the new Green Team.

 

 The Little Acorns Program

 

Deborah Perryman is an award-winning environmental educator from Elgin, Illinois, USA who provides us with a second example of legacy building.  Deb is an Illinois teacher of the year recipient. She oversees the National Biodiversity Teach-In  which is run by her students. Her hands-on, place-based environmental teaching work is portrayed in this video.

 

Legacy Building Resource Material
 
Thanks for reading this blog essay. This website offers a free PDF version of a book entitled “Empowering Stewards of Nature”. The book offers education methodology and content for building a connectivity consciousness for Nature within your students. The methodology includes seminar-style Socratic learning in the classroom coupled with activities in Nature that emphasize Nature’s relationships and energy flow. The book also offers some activity sets that will prove useful as you implement your environmental education programs outdoors. In addition, there is a series of environmental case studies that can be used in inquiry-based learning sessions. You are free to use the material offered in these packages “as-is” or modify things to fit your needs. To download this book, follow the instructions on the right side of the web-site when you click the photograph of the book.  

 

For Your Further Consideration

 

Ecological literacy (ecoliteracy) is the ability to understand how our Earth’s natural systems make life on our planet possible. The essays in this website offer thoughts about ecoliteracy to all environmental educators,  students, and stewards of Nature.   The emphasis is on these key ideas:
  • Our earth is a living system that transports and transforms the energy necessary for all life to exist. The key to an active ecoliteracy that results in a healthy environment for all life on earth is the building of a systems view of life into the minds and hearts of humanity. This worldview (the “Living Earth Story”) is supported by the fact that all of Nature is interconnected and interdependent.
  • Environmental educators, their students, scientists, and all stewards of Nature  are a powerful progressive force that, through their knowledge about Nature, through the legacies that they create, and through their informed actions are capable of overseeing the well-being of our home —  Mother Earth
  • Environmental education is not simply offering facts. Environmental education must be hands-on, and action-based if ideas, facts, and effective conservation strategies are to become a worldview in the minds and hearts of all of our youth. Environmental education must include the acts of passing this consciousness on to future generations.
  • If you are interested in working with me, other environmental educators, and other stewards of Nature to build a legacy of young people who will embrace and evangelize the worldview that “Everything on Earth is Connected and Interdependent”, please provide your questions and comments in the space provided below or by contacting me at my Twitter account @ballenamar.

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