“Natural Areas as Necessary Components of Man’s Total Environment”
Eugene P. Odum & Howard T. Odum

                    Odum on film | Ecology defined | Carbon dioxide | Carbon as a measure | Nitrogen problem | Assimilative capacity


C is the amount of public service needed to sustain private growth:

  N (N-1)        N 2
C  =  ------------   or approximately C = -------------
  2       2 
services equal   Which is to say that:   N squared over two

C is the network of services  ( sidewalks, roads, sewers, fire, police, schools, hospitals, lakes, parks, wildernesses, forests, rivers, estuaries, beaches & oceans.)

N is the number of units in the network of services (or consider, N = natural areas' extent.)



“Our theme is that natural environment is an essential part of man’s total environment. Preservation of a substantial portion of the biosphere in a natural state, while not a panacea for all the ills of humankind, is, nonetheless, a necessity if we base the carrying capacity of the earth on the quality of human life. 

Eugene Odum in first of six parts describes ecosystems and their importance:

Ecosystems and functional logic.

First, we define ‘natural environment’ as that part or our environment which is essentially self-supporting, in that a minimum of human management is required for maintenance.  In terms of function, ‘natural environment’ is the part of man’s life support system that operates without energetic or economic input from the power flows directly controlled by man.  ‘Natural environment’ is a more restricted category than ‘open space,’ a term widely used by planners to mean any part of the landscape, whether natural or man-made, that is free of building structures.  In this context ‘natural environment’ includes ecological systems ranging from little-used wildernesses to moderately used forests, grasslands, rivers, estuaries and oceans which produces useful products and recycle wastes on a continuous basis, but without appreciable economic cost to man."


          Any ecological system is called an ecosystem.

Key to comprehending any ecological system is the carbon cycle. The element carbon [ C ] "formed in a star whenever three helium nuclei collide at one spot within less than a million millionth of a second. Every carbon atom in every living creature has been formed by such a wildly improbable collision."
                                                                                                                                                                Jacob Bronowski, Ascent of Man.


Natural areas are assets | Theme as opposed to thesis | Methodology | Ecosystem services | Ecology defined