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Eco-logy versus Eco-nomics
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The spelling of the words _eco-logy and _eco-nomics in the title is intended to emphasize that both words originated from the Greek word oikos, which means household, house, or family. Despite their common origin, never have two disciplines diverged so dramatically. Economic growth, aided by economic globalization, has markedly diminished natural capital, from which all other forms of capital are derived. Economic growth (without protecting the biospheric life support system) seems to be the primary goal of human society. In reality, the human economy is a subset of the biospheric life support system, which regenerates the resources that are the raw materials of the economic system. Yet political leaders continually state that the biospheric life support system cannot be protected if the possibility of doing so would adversely affect economic growth. However, growth of material goods and population cannot continue indefinitely without severe consequences. At present, many ecologists delay discussing biotic impoverishments with economists, fearing that such candor will _turn them off. The contextual framework of economists and ecologists is far from congruent, although the survival of human society, and even of the human species, depends on it.