Leave no trace
What is ecological thinking?
When you first hear the term, ecological thinking, you say oh that’s easy it’s to think ecologically. But what does that entail, does it mean everything you used must be recycled, that everything you eat must be natural, is it a change in lifestyle all together?
Lila Pine writes that to think ecologically is to think holistically. Clement Glenn, assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at the Prairie View A&M University Breaks Holistic thinking into a 5 tier pyramid. The first, bottom, tier is basic thinking, the natural ability to use instincts to reason. In other words, the ability to read people or situations, and determine wether the person or situation is a good one or a bad one. The second tier is critical thinking, the ability that allows a person to apply analytical reasoning and logic to events, attitudes and practices of today. A person who gives consideration to the “What” factors. The third tier is reflective thinking, the ability to connect the outcomes of today with the events, attitudes and practices of yesterday. Someone who gives consideration to the “Why” Factors. The fourth tier is Creative thinking, the ability to connect the events, attitudes and practices of today with the outcomes of tomorrow. A person who gives consideration to the “How” factors. The fifth and final tier is Interpretive thinking, the ability to connect the practices of yesterday with the events and attitudes of today, and the outcomes of tomorrow. What Glenn describes in his pyramid is a person who can consider yesterday, today, tomorrow, how, why, what, people, situations, events, attitudes and practices before reaching a decision of what to do next.
This can all be linked to the walking tree, that we discussed in class. The tree that takes all 5 tiers of Glenns pyramid into consideration before plotting its next movement. Mitchel Resnick, who write about this walking tree, says that Ecological strategies, which the tree has, share two common characteristics; Responsive to local conditions and adaptive to changing conditions. This said, ecological thinking seems to be more being thoughtful about the outcomes and the effects, then just using recycled tools. You must think like someone would when wanting to preserve the environment, but you do not necessarily have to yourself.
Lorraine code, writes in her book, Ecological thinking: the politics of epistemic location, that ecological thinking can effect a revolution in philosophy, one which will reconfigure western thought by moving “man” to the center of the philosophical-conceptual universe. She says that ecological thinking is not unilinear, that is emerges from and addresses so many interwoven and sometimes contradictory issues – feminist, classist, environmental, post-colonial, racist, sexist – that its implications require multifaceted chartings. Lorraine paints Ecological thinking as a tangled weave of thoughts, that can only be fully understood when completely dissected and studied.
Lifestyle of health and sustainability blogs that one of the best teachers of survival is nature. Evolution is crucial for any species to adapt and survive the changing environmental circumstances of its surroundings. They either do this or become extinct. What this shows us, is that ecological thinking is also a crucial way of thinking, one that we all need to adapt, and fast. It makes us all aware of our surroundings, and the effects that every little thing we do has on everything in the world.
All of this reminds me of the leave no trace principles, from an organization I have volunteered for in the past. These principles are the one’s I go by when camping, and have an ecological way of thinking. There are seven steps, some more ecological then others. The first is plan ahead and prepare, to know the regulations of the area you are going to, to be aware of what weather hazards you may encounter, schedule your trip to avoid times of high use, visit in small groups or split large groups up, repackage food to minimize waste, and to always use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging. The other steps go on to be such as travel and camp on durable surfaces and to minimize campfire impacts. These steps have been carefully though of and planned using the ecological way of thinking. Another organization, the convergence team, uses ecological thinking in their way of doing. They break their course up into two parts, the first provides a general overview of the approach (of ecological thinking) and examine how systems or ‘joined up thinking’ can help us to see the world in a more practical way. The second half has them focusing on practical examples from their own experiences and employing a systems perspective to develop alternative understandings.
Ecological thinking is a way of lie, that needs a lot of work to be completely understood. In the end it is a very rewarding way of being, and helps you live as one with your environment, instead of apart from it.
Lila Pine, research for experience professor at Ryerson University, https://mpm17fall2009friday.wordpress.com/
Mitchel Resnick, Thinking Like A Tree ( and other forms of ecological thinking), http://llk.media.mit.edu/courses/readings/thinking-like-tree.pdf
Clement Glenn, assistant Professor in the department of educational leadership and counseling at Prairie View A&M University, http://www.nationalforum.com/Electronic%20Journal%20Volumes/Glenn,%20Clement%20Glenns%20Holistic%20Thinking%20Pyramid.pdf
Ecological thinking: the politics of epistemic location by Lorraine Code, Oxford University Press, 2006
LOHAS, Can’t Buy Me Love, Wednesday, July 22, 2009 by Ted Ning, http://blog.lohas.com/blog/ecological-thinking
Leave no trace 7 principles, http://www.lnt.org/programs/principles.php