An overview

Simply, what does Ecological Living mean? It seems obvious because they are words we hear every day, but maybe that makes extracting a real meaning from them harder. In common usage ‘Ecological’ means anything vaguely attached to preserving or sustaining the Natural World (again, what does that actually mean? Even plastic comes from natural vegetation, sort of). Even if we can get to a meaningful common usage, ‘Eco’, ‘Green’ and ‘Sustainable’ have all been made woolly and vague, hollowed out by consumer goods marketing departments, eager to keep selling whatever it is they sell.  

These same problems loom, even greater and more problematic, if we look at ‘Living’. What really is it to live? Let’s ease ourselves in with ecology first. We’ve got a reading list, after skim/rereading, we’ll post some reviews. If you have any recommendations for the next round of study, please suggests away.

01

The Three Ecologies – Felix Guattari

Jumping straight ahead from simply viewing ecology as relating to the ‘natural world’, Guattari’s classic diagnoses the maladies caused by the  ‘gangrene’ of post-industrial capitalism on the social, psychological and physical ecologies. A very necessary opening step if we are to really think about ‘living’. A short text that sets the scene well.

02

Being Ecological – Timothy Morton

The latest, and most accessible, of Timothy Morton’s work on ecological thought. Short and readable by Morton’s standards,  dense and trying by most people’s. The main course.

03

Look to the Land – Lord Northbourne

A historical text (1940) that coined ‘organic farming’. Seemingly simplistic after all the contemporary philosophy, this takes the role of desert; enjoyable, untaxing, and an opportunity to indulge our newly learned ecological thinking.