Deep Ecology

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Deep Ecology/Ecosophy

The ideas behind deep ecology have major implications today. They allow people to think more profoundly about the environment and possibly come to a better understanding of their own meaning. People are intensely concerned about the world’s technological adolescence, massive consumerism, and overpopulation. A man named Arne Naess, former head of the philosophy department at the University of Oslo founded an idea that can direct people’s anxiety away from their "shallow" notion of the problem to one that is much "deeper." "Deep ecology goes beyond the limited piecemeal shallow approach to environmental problems and attempts to articulate a comprehensive religious and philosophical worldview." (EE p.145) In its most basic form, deep ecology is a wisdom, an ecosophy, which requires humans to see themselves as part of the bigger picture. Naess, Devall, and Sessions outline basic principles of deep ecology in their writing. Furthermore, they address the roles that scientific ecology plays as well as the concept of self-realization. Aside from these ideas, ecosabotage needs to be discussed in terms of how it fits with the practice of deep ecology.
The basic principles of deep ecology as characterized by the authors mentioned, show us what is supposedly wrong with the world and also give us a framework by which we can make a change. In fact, Naess and Sessions went camping in Death Valley, California in order to gain a different perspective. They condensed fifteen years their thought on the topic of deep ecology in an effort to make it appeal to people from all kinds of backgrounds. They also emphasize that these principles must all be considered together.
The first principle states that the value of life, human or non-human, is intrinsic. This means that everything about it is valuable, including individuals, species, populations, habitat, and culture. When considering non-human life, it important to remember that deep ecology likes to include that which can be classified as non-living such as bodies of water and landscapes. Essentially, "the presence of inherent value in a natural object is independent of any awareness, interest, or appreciation of it by a conscious being." (EE p.147)

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...sp;Deep ecology makes a good deal of sense. Before learning about this, shallow ecology seemed legitimate. Clearly, the principles behind deep ecology could be far more productive than anything practiced today. Some will argue that complete acceptance of deep ecology is absurd. Completely neglecting our anthropocentric perspective means that we have forgotten where we stand in the whole picture. We have been around a short while in comparison with life of the earth. It could easily go through another dramatic climatic shift and we would be history, and probably succeeded by a new form of life. The point is that humans share something valuable. Of course it is anthropocentric and it is worth saving. The other issue that seems debatable is the current state of economics and the market. These writing by Naess and company are somewhat dated and much has changed since then with the advent of the Internet. Is global village really such a bad thing if we use it properly? Deep ecology wants to preserve cultures and independent economies. I do not know which side to join at this point in time. I want to believe in most of what deep ecology holds true, however some issues make me uncertain.

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