Life Matters

All forms of life have value in themselves; equal right to grow and flourish Cultural historian and ecotheologian Thomas Berry distinguished between “shallow” and “deep” ecology. He said the former is based on the belief that big ecological problems can be resolved within an industrial, capitalist society by fighting pollution and resource depletion in order […]


Perceptions that make a planetary house a home This begins an 11-part appreciation of Earth as a living system. 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 an eco-system […]

Which Would You Rather Have: More Or Better? Choose one.

The climate challenge and decision point for everyday citizens Ecologists note that growth in commerce and the economy are primarily based on consumption, which is linear and limited because resources are finite. Growth in nature, however, is cyclical and unlimited because the decay of organisms produces materials that are recycled. Mulching is a prime example. […]

Reframing The Ecological Challenge

How we talk and what we see determines how we act The Data The climate has been changing since the Earth coalesced. It will continue to do so until it’s subsumed by the sun billions of years from now. The recent concern is that human beings have accelerated the rate of change—10 to 100 times […]

Servant Leadership

At this time in American history, in addition to a treatment and a vaccine to effectively manage the Covid-19 pandemic, I would argue that what we need most is courageous and moral leadership in the government, corporations, mass media and institutions. My daughter, Jennifer Smith Miller, is a leader in the field of Social and […]

The Aspen: A Model Of Interconnectedness

When I began using a camera creatively, I approached trees and forests mainly as objects to facilitate the development of my aesthetic eye. Recently, Peter Wohllenben’s book The Hidden Life Of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate expanded my appreciation by describing their acute sensory and communication processes. After reading that book I discovered […]


From universe to “nanoverse,” one of nature’s most common structural features is “branching.” Networks of all kinds, physical and intellectual, are grounded in a pattern that chemists refer to as “child” (smaller channels) and “parent” (larger) branches. At the human level we see it in living systems—the brain, arteries and veins, leaves and trees. Branching […]

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 […]

I. Whole systems Thinking — Introduction

This is the first in a series of blogs on the subject of whole systems thinking. Each week, after the topic is introduced, I’ll offer a contemplation that relates to the headline photograph and text.  Historically, patterns observed in nature were discussed and documented in China five thousand years ago, before being articulated by Lao […]

XIII. Pattern

Patterns are pervasive. Visually, through repetition, they set up a rhythm that suggests order. We see them in the most fundamental energy fields within the atom, in the immensity of the cosmos, and the way we function, behave and spend our time. Machines, computers, and time itself reveal patterns in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, […]