Learning from Healthy Ecosystems

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  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /var/www/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
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Biologists at the cutting edge of their field tell us that underlying the competition that biologists have long assumed to be the key to evolutionary progress, life is a fundamentally cooperative enterprise. In a healthy living system the species that prosper are not the most brutally aggressive, but rather those that find a niche in which they meet their own needs in ways that simultaneously serve the needs of others. The unrestrained growth and colonization of a cancer or invasive species is a sign of a pathological system breakdown. Healthy ecosystems maintain a creative tension and dynamic balance between innovation and stability and between competition for available resources and cooperation to share and optimize resource use to the benefit of the whole.

We humans must now take the step beyond the individualistic, competitive, and often violent ways of our species adolescence and embrace the responsibilities of adulthood by reorganizing our human economies to function as self-organizing subsystems of the diverse local ecosystems that comprise Earth’s biosphere.  The product of 3.9 billion years of evolutionary learning, Earth’s living systems have much to teach us about organizing human economies to optimize the beneficial and sustainable use of Earth’s resources. [See: Community Self-Organization and Local Self-Reliance Everywhere]