Cultural ecology presents two sides of the coin of global economic development. The latter has taken place by the 'unlocking of nature', at first by self-sufficient groups in bands, and tribes. Now it involves networks of interdependent nations involved in industrial mass production and the movement of resources and goods rapidly over vast distances measured in hours or days. This process has taken place not by biological evolution, but by inventions, which, from age to age, drive the human economic system. First it involved the application of ideas about the living world that produced the hunter and the forager, and led to fire and water being harnessed as physical aids to comfort and lighten labour.

Looking to history, economic development has taken place by behaviours that arose early in the simplest human cultures from basic and specific faculties. From the first beginnings, human production through inventions to exploit natural resources has occurred by the organisation of groups of people for production. This has, in the long run, inevitably stimulated demand for more and more goods and services. By 1750 water had become the engineers element that set off the British industrial revolution. The water wheel was the first multipurpose machine for the new manufacturies. Increased exploitation of natural resources through production and increased demand for products had an increasing environmental impact. An 'age of plenty' had begun.

So great is the current impact of mass production that it is evident that conservation of natural resources, which has always been part of native cultures, has to be built into generally acceptable international strategies for economic development and long-term survival of industrial cultures. The first 'minimal impact cultural ecology' was about hunting and gathering. The future maximal impact cultural ecology is about sustainability of industrialism.

Global industrialism is a scientific civilisation in which knowledge and its integrity supplies a set of educational principles according to which we shape our conduct. Citizens in most industrial countries are educated to share a belief in progress, faith in the steady increase of material affluence, which unfortunately is equated with progress, and belief in the necessity and goodness of growth. Other central features of the industrial educational system seemingly include high values placed on work, the nuclear family, and career-oriented formal education; a strong faith in the efficacy of science and technology (as opposed to religion) to solve problems; and a view of 'Nature' as something to be subdued by mankind. This led to the development of educational systems in which subjects were built according to the knowledge required to educate the specialists who were to carry forward this exploitative culture.

A new educational map is needed to replace the fragmented one that has been shaped by the industrial revolution and that is now leading inexorably toward the destruction of industrial society. Industrial mankind must remake its culture and direct future cultural evolution. A rationally controlled technology does give us a means of survival for ourselves and many generations to come, although it must be supplemented by a social technology that encourages people to value and reward ecologically sound behavior. Mankind must respond to survival imperatives with meaningful social action. Culture must again become an ally, rather than an enemy, in realising the sensible strategies for survival that were set out in the 1992 Rio Environmental Summit.

This new map of cultural ecology carries the undercurrents of knowledge that flow between and into conventional subjects. It is an overview of the integration of knowledge required to produce a view of the topics that have to be brought together to explain human cultural evolution amd are meeded to develop operations to balance our use of natural resources in relation to their continued availability. Subjects have been replaced by topics. Topics are the links between knowledge and action and are guideposts for a sustainable society. In the mindmap of cultural ecology it will be seen that traditional subjects, which are designed to produce specialists, are to be found three to four levels deep.

As a panorama of topics, cultural ecology maps the flows of materials from the stars to the body fluids of plants, animals and microbes. The starting point has to be a mindmap which delineates the relationships as a panel of nested topics, and as topic a web. Each topic has text notes. The notes are concise statements of the main elements to be considered for expansion.

The two flows of ideas about natural economy begin with the major topics of 'exploiting resources' and 'conserving resources.

Viewed through the human economic system and its consequences, one set of second-level topics represent the exploitation of natural resources governed by people's ideas about human production. This starts with knowing how to tap resources for making goods.. When basic survival needs have been met, 'making things' is accelerated by ever demanding markets. Demand is now so great by all nations across the world that it is impacting on the limited stocks and the planets finite space, producing changes in culture, society and environment. The stocks and flows of nature's production represent the intrinsic organisation for producing the resources we loosely call 'natural''.

Conservation of natural resources takes place around ideas about how to cope with the impact of human production through concepts of culture, society and environment. The aim is to sustain production from generation to generation, by developing global culture committed to conservation strategies. The objectives have to be met through operational, outcome- based conservation management systems.

But following this flow of ideas, and agreeing with the conclusion that the present cultural attitudes towards the dominance of exploitation have to be moderated by conservation management in home and community, is not enough. The application of a new cultural ecology to living in an overcrowded world, chasing new goods and services, will ultimately depend on the actions of the majority in a democratic society. If each person fails to see, feel and act in relation to the long-term consequences of what he or she is doing, all will be lost. In the end, each person must be made to feel responsible for the present and future welfare of all mankind. Education can only become applied when its content corresponds to, or gives valid and acceptable guidance for dealing with reality.

Designing a new culture means adopting an activist attitude toward cultural evolution rather than passive acquiescence to the results of technology; but most important of all, it means actively intervening to modify norms, values, and institutions to bring them into line with the physical and biological constraints within which mankind must operate.

The entire world society must soon reach a consensus on what is meant by a livable world and must cooperate in using science, technology, and social institutions to construct that world, rather than forcing human beings to conform to a world shaped by these forces out of control.