Greta Thunberg

This is the 10th posting in the series on ecology In a previous posting in this series, one of the reasons I expressed optimism regarding climate change was the concern and initiatives of young people. Because sixteen-year-old Greta Thunberg has stepped up to speak to power with intelligence, wisdom and passion, I dedicate this posting […]

V. Earth House Rules

This is the 5th posting in a series on ecology In Ken Burns’ documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, a paradox was cited where Congress debated over whether or not the Grand Canyon should become a “national park” or remain a “national monument.” The former restricts a park against any human use other than […]

IV. Sustainability

This is the 4th posting in a series on ecology To sustain is to maintain. With regard to ecosystems, that isn’t enough. While sustaining certain ecosystems may be all that can be done now to preserve what would otherwise be lost, the word “sustainability” allows us to continue to see the world as composed of […]

III. Ecoliteracy

This is the 3rd in a series of postings on ecology Ecoliteracy involves an understanding of the basic principles of ecology. Understanding is the relatively easy part. The challenging part is living accordingly. Due to the specificity and complexity of this topic, I draw heavily upon The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by […]

X. Ecosystems

This is the 10th and final posting on whole systems thinking. It is also the first in a new series on ecology. The word “ecology,” comes from the Greek oikos “household.” Ecology then is the study of the “Earth Household.” In The System’s View of Life: A Unifying Vision, Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luise define […]

IX. Order (Whole Systems Context)

This is the 9th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. In nature and in the world of man-made objects, geometric order evidences the interrelatedness of all things. Using the above image as a model, humanity may be said to consist of a single string within the spacetime continuum. Rather than forming a […]

VIII. Emergent Properties (In Systems)

This is the eighth in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT I invite you to check out my new blog on the ancient Maya. A description follows at the end of this posting. ______________________________________________________________________________ Life is an emergent property—a property that is not present in the parts and originates only when […]

VII. Part-Whole Relationship

This is the 7th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. Systems thinking involves a shift of perspective from parts to whole. The properties of a whole cannot be reduced to its parts because none of them have the capacity of the whole. A wristwatch keeps time and a smartphone has many functions […]

VI. Equifinality

  This is the 6th  in a series of postings on the theme of whole systems thinking. The whole system’s principle of “equifinality,” a term coined by the father of systems theory, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, holds that in open systems, for those that have external interactions, a given end state can be reached by many […]

V. Feedback

This is the 5th in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. A system is maintained, often within specified limits, by providing information about how well or poorly the system is performing relative to its purpose. Since systems exist for a reason, it’s important to know whether or not, how well or how poorly, […]