one planet, one ecosystem

We've only begun to appreciate in the last fifty years how complex — and fragile — ecological systems are. Even more recently we've realized how interconnected the health of those ecological systems is with our social and economic systems. We used to drain swamps to claim land for development and to control pesky mosquitoes, but now we understand that wetlands are crucial for flood control and for providing habitat to countless species. We used to think the oceans and atmosphere were too big to be polluted, but we now realize that we risk setting off catastrophic and self-reinforcing changes if we strain these systems too hard.

Our deepening understanding of ecology has taught us another important lesson: healthy systems do not remain the same for years and years, but instead adapt to change over time by cultivating resilience.


Change the Course: Hope for “Troubled Waters”

length: 14:38   credit: National Geographic

Sandra Postel views the world through a water lens, advocating for all to make simple and easy changes to their everyday lives that will help "Change the Course" of the Earth's precious supply of freshwater.

more videos

associated fellows

latest related publications

A Favorite Massachusetts Stream Loses a Dam – and Gains Aquatic Habitat

Sandra Postel    Mar 11, 2014   

The Bartlett Rod Shop Company Dam, built in 1820 on Amethyst Brook in western Massachusetts was removed in November 2012, opening up habitat for trout and creating spawning grounds for sea … >>

more posts

How Palm Oil in Everything From Food to Fuel Is Killing Orangutans and Exacerbating Climate Change

Leslie Moyer    Nov 22, 2013   

By Mike Gaworecki, Leslie Moyer - originally published at Alternet Palm oil. It’s the ubiquitous additive in everything from soaps and lotions to cookies and diet foods. It’s found in … >>

more articles

ECONOMY: Ecological Economics

Joshua Farley

EXCERPT:  Many people would agree that the central desirable end of economic activity is a high quality of life for this and future generations.  Conventional economists argue … >>

more reports

ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth

Daniel Lerch Richard Heinberg Bill McKibben David Fridley David Hughes Gloria Flora Wes Jackson

Edited by Tom Butler and George Wuerthner, Introduction by Richard Heinberg. 

ENERGY takes an unflinching look at the environmental devastation created by our thirst for … >>

more books