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Notice: Unaware Citizens of Biogeograhical Provinces

It is possible to classify people into two groups:  ecosystem people and biosphere people.   Until the rise of the first civilized empires, all people on earth were ecosystem people.   This means they lived within one ecosystem or, at most, a few closely related ecosystems, and depended entirely on the continued functioning of those ecosystems for their survival.  Their economies may have been hosed on hunting, fishing, and food gathering, on shifting or permanent agriculture, or on nomadic pastoralism, but in all cases their ways of life involved a close and intricate relationship between culture and nature.  Religious practices and social .customs formed intrinsic parts of this relationship and assured that economic activities remained in proper balance with the ecological requirements of their environment.

Biosphere people today are tied in with the global technological and economic system.  This frees them from the restraints of any one particular ecosystem, since they can draw upon energy and. resources from an econom,ic network which extends throughout the entire biosphere.   We need only examine the sources of the food consumed in any modern city to see that they come from virtually all of the continents and oceans of the world. Failure in any one ecosystem does not necessarily threaten the survival of the city, since it can draw more heavily on other ecosystems.   This permits biosphere people to override the ecological controls in any one system and, consequently, do far greater damage than could he accomplished by a group which was totally dependent on that particular ecosystem. . . .

Until biosphere people, armed with powers greater than their ancestors could imagine, make use of the wisdom which ecosystem people have so painfully   . acquired and which their ancestors once had, they remain in peril.  Like the gods of old they can make the earth into a paradise, if they so choose and if they use this wisdom, or they can destroy it.