Ecology is a Problem!

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Perhaps one of the initial important tasks of the discipline of sumbiology is to complete the critique of Anthropocene category mistakes. In particular, the concept of the “environment” must be removed from our thinking. However, another concept that must be critiqued is the concept of “ecology” and the related idea of an “ecosystem”.

A sumbiology-based critique of ecology and an ecosystem must examine the idea that ecology is a prime example of the social construction of reductionist unreality from within Anthropocene science. We need a new concept, the symbioment.

Ecology has a root that it shares with economics (oikos: the rule and management of the household). That makes it difficult for it to be part of the Symbiocene because it opens the path for a form of systems thinking that puts artificial boundaries around non-bounded entities and opens the path for authoritarian hubris.

One consequence of this abstraction is the ease to which ecology can be monetised and ‘ruled’ by capitalism. Hence, the popularity within sustainability policy for ecosystem off-sets, the idea of natural capital and ecosystem ‘services’ expressed as monetary value.

It is a radical idea, but maybe ecology and ecological thinking have to be replaced. We have put ‘eco’ in front of too many words already.

From Earth Emotions (2019) Cornell University Press: