What is the meaning of "ecological withdrawals" in the following context?

This groundbreaking text provides students with an overview and assessment of green criminology as well as a call to action. Green Criminology draws attention to the ways in which the political-economic organization of capitalism causes ecological destruction and disorganization. Focusing on real-world issues of green crime and environmental justice, chapters examine ecological withdrawals, ecological additions, toxic towns, wildlife poaching and trafficking, environmental laws, and nongovernmental environmental organizations. The book also presents an unintimidating introduction to research from the physical sciences on issues such as climate change, pollution levels, and the ecological footprint of humans, providing a truly interdisciplinary foundation for green criminological analysis. Source

According to New Oxford Thesaurus Dictionary, there are two main senses for withdrawal.


REMOVAL, taking away; abolition, cancellation, discontinuation, ending, stopping, termination, elimination. -opposite(s): INTRODUCTION.

as in : the withdrawal of state subsidies


DEPARTURE, pull-out, exit, exodus, evacuation, retirement, retreat, disengagement.

as in: the withdrawal of the troops

But in the mentioned context I cannot understand it with any of these senses.


It's the first definition

The "ecological withdrawals" and "ecological additions" are antitheses of each other in this context. Withdrawals would be things like mining, logging, or even water usage as each is in the ecology until removed, whereas additions would be roads, or waste, such as mining tailings.

  • Would you please mention some examples for "ecological addition" as well?
    – Sasan
    Jun 24 '17 at 14:47
  • 1
    @Sasan Good idea; we appear to be on the same wavelength, as I had just noticed and tried to fix that very oversight.
    – Chemus
    Jun 24 '17 at 14:49

The earlier answer from Chemus has explained the term(s) accurately and succintly. A bit more context would be provided by this extract from www.greencriminology.org which is probably the source of your own sentence:

In terms of treadmill of production theory, environmental disorganization expands as humans accelerate the withdrawal of ecological resources from nature, convert those resources into work and commodities, and add ecological additions or pollution to the ecosystem. The effects of ecological withdrawals and ecological additions becomes a particular problem for ecosystem stability and environmental disorganization with the emergence of capitalism, and is accelerated significantly following World War II and the transformation of the treadmill of production. (I have emphasised the usage in question.)

Source: http://greencriminology.org/glossary/environmental-ecological-disorganization/

In this context "ecological withdrawal" refers to the removal of ecological resources from nature, and "ecological addition" seems to refer to pollutants or other undesirable/ harmful substances added or introduced as a result of the above-mentioned (type of) economic activity.

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