"Yes, Virginia, ecology is like a religion for some of us. We have faith in its rational principles to guide our decisions about land use and how to treat this planet. We worship in natural places where we get in closer touch with our spirituality than we ever did in church. We also believe in Santa Claus. He keeps his reindeer in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and loves all the living creatures in the world, even you Virginia -- and his helpers know who's naughty or nice and they squeal!"
"Landscape ecology is like looking at a painting by Monet. You walk up close to the painting and it looks like a bunch of random brushstrokes. Back away, and the brushstrokes resolve themselves into something with order and meaning. It's choosing how close you need to be to inspect the "painting" that is the important part."
"Be green like the queen
Protect the Earth because it is the only one
Show your culture and protect nature
Think globally, act locally
Ecology is like a flower, if you aren't her brother, she fades
If we respect meadows, forests, we can live foreve"
"In some ways, ecology is like geology in the difficulty in conducting critical experiments and the subsequent reliance on observation, inference, good thinking, and models to guide understanding of the world"
"Ecology is like the convenience store. Yes, we can cut down a tree and haul it from the woods and only see the benefits, but there is an impact-even if we, the bystanders, would like to convince ourselves that cutting down that tree was a good thing."
"Ecology is like a new religion: Different groups with different worldviews follow different belief systems. On top of that, there are fractions within the groups who cannot agree on which alternative is the best way out. Therefore, both the problems and the solutions are not well defined enough for consensus. When will we have unity in religion? When will there be peace? When will we have agreement on climate change? Should we use the carrot or the stick? Culture change is a very complex and difficult ideal and will take gargantuan efforts by the world community at large."
"Planetary ecology is like a lace cloth, delicate, intricate, and complex. Neither scientists nor politicians, nor the public, nor corporate leaders can completely predict what will happen if one or another species is protected or not. But often times, as is the case with sea otters, protecting them starts a chain reaction of protection for other creatures, including ourselves. As a sentinel species, sea otters' well being is indicative of the health of the water in which they live, the same waters in which we play and fish. If not out of compassion for the wellbeing of other creatures, that healthier otters = healthier water = healthier humans should be enough of a reason to care about this small mammal of the North Pacific. "
"So, my read: Modern ecology is like religion. Much as religion idealizes a notion of "god" as something separate from man, ecology idealizes a notion of "nature" as something separate-something other than our modern reality-that can be returned to, that can heal us, that can stabilize us. It opiates us into believing there is something "easy" to access-a quick fix. This is problematic."
"Ecology is like an enormous jigsaw puzzle. Each organism has requirements for life which interlock with those of the many other individuals in the area."
METAMIA is a free database of analogy and metaphor. Anyone can contribute or search. The subject matter can be anything. Science is popular, but poetry is encouraged. The goal is to integrate our fluid muses with the stark literalism of a relational database. Metamia is like a girdle for your muses, a cognitive girdle.