Environment vs Ecology

Interview with Valerie Olson

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Video transcript: "So for me, because I was trying to understand this idea of environment in terms of the contemporary idea of an extreme environment, I did do some genealogical research to try to understand the origins of the term. And, it does have a history that links it to the idea of surrounding, it's a spatial term. And in some ways what we have now is an interesting situation because there is a different kind of understanding of what an environment is in relationship to the term ecology. Environment is a particularly spatial term.

It is a term that refers to boundaries, to the notion of a surrounding both near and far. So it's an interesting thing to think about - the difference between environment as a particularly spatial term, in relation to territory or spaciality, and the way ecology transcends that or the eco- prefix transcends that, and is more a term of relationship. So that was partly what I was trying to understand in my work is when people use the environment term and when they switch over to the ecology term or the ecosystem term and why they do that; what is the discursive, political, technical reason why those two terms are different and not necessarily compatible."

Other interviews with Valerie Olson

Related tags: Tactic, Theory, Interdependence, Extreme,