Nested Ecology: The Place of Humans in the Ecological Hierarchy

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Nested Ecology provides a pragmatic and functional approach to realizing a sustainable environmental ethic. Edward T. Wimberley asserts that a practical ecological ethic must focus on human decision making within the context of larger social and environmental systems. Think of a set of mixing bowls, in which smaller bowls sit within larger ones. Wimberley sees the world in much the same way, with personal ecologies embedded in social ecologies that in turn are nested within natural ecologies. Wimberley urges a complete reconceptualization of the human place in the ecological hierarchy. Going beyond the physical realms in which people live and interact, he extends the concept of ecology to spirituality and the ecology of the unknown. In doing so, Wimberley defines a new environmental philosophy and a new ecological ethic.