Ecology (1): "Us versus It"

For a few posts I want to pursue a thread of thoughts that for me personally started a long while ago.  Lately I have been made or otherwise become aware of sources that express similar sentiments better than I could.  (Nevertheless, in this introductory post, I will try to summarize my thoughts.)

It is the idea that humans are but one species in the animal kingdom (homo sapiens sapiens - see Wikipedia: Homo (genus)) and as such humans are an inextricably interconnected part of "nature".  There is no "Us" humans and "It" nature; no "us versus it"; no "us over it"; etc.  We are part of it.  It is us.  If we poison or destroy it, we poison or destroy ourselves.  If we manipulate it, we manipulate ourselves.  Consequently we need to act very deliberately, carefully, judiciously.  It may help to think of the situation in terms of an Ecosystem and Systems Ecology.  In such a system we are part of the various flows that may arrive at some state of dynamic equilibrium.  That state is variable, of course, based on the changes that may occur in any element in the system. 

The discovery that "civilization" has neither succeeded in isolating us from "nature" as our ecosystem nor garnered us control of the ecosystem could be instrumental in shifting our thinking.  It allows us to leave behind the misguided believe that humans could control or subjugate nature and move to the understanding that as part of the whole we have the choice of acting based on this insight in full integration with "the rest of nature" based on an increased understanding and analysis of the system.  Metaphorically speaking, instead of being buffeted by the flow around us we can perhaps use the flow to propel us forward.  This opens up a significantly different perspective onto possible approaches towards architecture in particular and infrastructure in general as deliberate interventions in the environment with (in no specific order) ecological, social, urban, aesthetic, and economic dimensions.

Let's act based on the understanding that we exist within the (eco)system Earth.  Nature is us. 

image of early humans