excerpt | new apples
the world of ecology is made up of many small worlds. these small worlds - these "ecosystems" - can be found in a tract of forest, a stretch of sand dunes or a lake. but the best way to begin the study of the subject of ecosystems, according to a leading ecologist, is in a small pond.
here, the bond between living organisms and non-living matter is immediately apparent. producers (plants) feed on non-living substances in the water. consumers (fish and insects) feed on producers. consumers then die and are decomposed into non-living substances. thus, the process comes full circle.
the small worlds of ecology are perfect worlds. they make spontaneous progress toward perfection, or what ecologists call a climax. they proceed in orderly "successions" before settling into a stable ecosystem like that of a pond.
the main problem in ecology is man. within the cycles described by ecology, man introduces needs so great that they generate continuous shortages...
if nature's problem appears to be man, then man's problem is his consciousness.