"If you want me to show you the vicinity, you must first climb to the roof."

The economic history of the world is the entire history of the world, but seen from a certain vantage-point - that of the economy. The ecological history of the world is the history of the world seen from an environmental viewpoint. Increasinlgy, this environmental viewpoint takes in the place of Homo sapiens within the entire cosmos. To choose one or other vantage-point, and no other, is of course to favour from the start a one-sided form of explanation. However, economists and historians have stopped thinking of economics as a self-contained discipline and of economic history as a neatly-defined body of knowledge, which one could study in isolation from other subjects. Economic phenomena cannot be properly grasped by economists unless they go beyond the economy. With regard to political economy, which in the 19th century appeared to concern only material goods, it has turned out to embrace the social system as a whole, being related to everything in society. The same can be said of biologists with respect to ecology, with its history of evolution, which is no longer regarded as primary science, but as a philosophy of inter-relatedness.

Political culture is an important variable in the analysis of cultural ecology as it suggests underlying beliefs, values and opinions which a people hold dear (such as shared ethnic and religious affinities) which produce culturalistic groups. For example, catholicism treats the individual as social and transcendant.

Economics and ecology come together at their common linguistic root , oikos; house, which in both cases signifies a space where a complex of activities is undertaken concerned with the consumption of natural resources and their transformation for production and distribution.

Management, as a specific pattern of human activities, emerges in the archaic use of the word economy to define the management of household affairs; (via Latin from Greek oikonomia; domestic management, from oikos house + -nomia, from nemein to manage)

'Ecology' is used to define a particular type or branch of the relationship between living organisms and their environment e.g. aquatic ecology; avian ecology. Where the species is a community of Homo sapiens, sharing a common heritage of ideas, beliefs values and knowledge, the interrelationship is called cultural ecology. It includes an environmental complex of human activities undertaken for profit. The activities are concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services and the management of natural resources (land, forest, water), finances, income, and expenditure of a community, business enterprise, etc. This highlights the fact that the subject matter of both ecology and economics, which are themselves interrelated, cannot be isolated from all the other social, ideological and political problems of survival.

Keeping Within Earth's Ecological Limits