The Ecology reference article from the Simple Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
(provided by Fixed Reference: snapshots of Wikipedia from wikipedia.org)

Ecology

Learn about Africa online
Ecology is the science studying the interactions of organisms with their environment and with each other. It comes from oikos (habitat) and logos (science). It is very concerned with energy relationships and tracing them back to our sun which is the source of energy used in photosynthesis.

Ecology, biology and other Life Sciences overlap with zoology and geography which describe the things that ecology tries to predict, and energy economics which describes mostly human food chains and trophic levels.

Terrestrial ecoregion and climate change research are two areas where ecologists (people studying ecology) now focus.

Table of contents
1 Ecology in politics
2 Ecology includes economics
3 Ecology mirrors anthropology

Ecology in politics

Ecology gave birth to many powerful philosophical and political movements - including the conservation movement, wellness movement, environmental movement, and ecology movement we know today. When these are combined with peace movements and the Six Principles, they are called green movements. In general, these put ecosystem health first on a list of human moral and political priorities, as the way to achieve better human health and social harmony, and better economics.

People with these beliefs are called political ecologists. Some have organized into the Green Parties, but there are actually political ecologists in most political parties. They very often use arguments from ecology to advance policy, especially forest policy and energy policy. Often these arguments contradict each other, as do many in academia as well.

Ecology includes economics

Many ecologists are also very concerned with human economics:

Ecological economics and human development theory try to separate the economic questions from others, but it is difficult. Many people think economics is just part of ecology now, and that economics that ignores it is wrong. "Natural capital" is an example of one theory combining both.

Ecology mirrors anthropology

Sometimes ecology is compared to anthropology, because both use a lot of methods to study one thing we cannot live without. Anthropology is about how our bodies and minds are affected by our environment, ecology is about how our environment is affected by our bodies and minds.

Some think they are just one science, but the mechanistic paradigm insists on putting the human subject in control of the ecological object - a subject-object problem. But in evolutionary psychology or psychoneuroimmunology for instance it is clear that human capabilities and ecological challenges evolved together. This is well stated by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "The earth teaches us more about ourselves than all the books. Because it resists us. Man discovers himself when he measures himself against the obstacle."