I know that you anxious to learn more about economic and social pillars. However, as the proverb says: patience is a virtue! So we put that aside for now and focus on ecology and the environment.
In the word “environment“, the root “environ” means “surrounding area”. So the environment is all around us and everything next to us. This is usually described as geography. Do you remember what you learned at school in geography? For example, what the highest peak is in the Northeastern United States and where is it?
Cheaters: I know you are googling it!
As a matter of fact, when we talk about the geographical environment, it encompasses both the region where you live: plains, mountains, forests, oceans or lakes… and the climate where you live: The rain in Scotland? The snow in Alaska? The Sahara Desert?
Geography also depends on where you live: either in town (urban area) or in the countryside (rural area). Of course you are surely neither 100% New Yorker nor 100% farmer, but rather a mix in between. That’s exactly what makes geography so complex.
So where does ecology fit in? What does ecology mean exactly? It is a word that you can cut into two parts:
- The “Eco” part comes from the Greek word “oikos” that means home,
- The “Logy” part comes from the word “logos” and refers to the idea of logic and reason.
So the word ecology implies to have logic and reason in your home. By definition, the reason “allows one to set criteria of truth and error, to distinguish good and evil” #ThankWikipedia
Therefore, when you talk about ecology, in a certain way, you should be your own “referee” within your house to determine what is “good” or “bad” for your environment. Then you would have to do the same thing to organize your city with logic and reason. Similarly, you would have to take care of your county, country and world…
By extension, “eco-logy” means that if our house it is Earth, then we must live there with reason and logic so that everything is in order. Living on Earth with reason and logic …. Sure it is hard work! Does anyone have Bruce Willis’ phone number, please?
To be serious, it’s rather interesting to know that you can be “eco-logical” just by taking care of your own little home. Don’t you think?
In summary, the environment is what surrounds us, meaning the place where we live. In ecology, you take care of your own home to ensure that everything works with reason and logic. Therefore when the United Nations speak about the environment, it means that in this game we must be our own referee to ensure we live there “reasonably” in order to protect our “home”.
Of course being careful to take care of your own little home by being reasonable and, thus, ecological, will not change the world. It is true that our little efforts might look nothing but little drops in the ocean but… As each drop matters, our power is an ocean of possibilities.