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Deep ecology

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**Origins and Development of Deep Ecology:**
Deep ecology was inspired by ecologists studying ecosystems worldwide.
– Arne Næss coined the term in 1973 and advocated for biospherical egalitarianism.
– Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ and images of Earth from Apollo astronauts influenced the movement.
Deep ecology embraces ecological ideas, environmental ethics, and opposes human supremacy narratives.
– It promotes an eco-centric view over an anthropocentric one, seeking ideological, economic, and technological changes.

**Principles and Impact of Deep Ecology:**
Deep ecology advocates for a holistic view of the world where the survival of any part depends on the well-being of the whole.
– It emphasizes the quality of life over a high standard of living and warns of social collapse and human extinction if changes aren’t made.
– The philosophy encourages wilderness preservation, non-coercive policies for human population decline, and simple living.
Deep ecology promotes non-interference with natural diversity and highlights the intrinsic value of all life on Earth.
– It aims to address the detrimental effects of anthropocentrism and calls for a shift towards ecocentrism.

**Critiques and Debates Surrounding Deep Ecology:**
– Critics argue for a population of 1-2 billion under deep ecology and its radical opposition to capitalism.
Deep ecology is criticized for equating environmental protection with wilderness preservation and not addressing authoritarianism and hierarchy.
– The movement has faced criticism for its radical direct-action approaches and debates exist on its compatibility with ecofeminism and other environmental philosophies.
Animal rights activists challenge deep ecologists for attributing human-like interests to non-human organisms, which is seen as anthropocentric.
Peter Singer critiques deep ecology for its belief in nature’s intrinsic value separate from suffering.

**Spirituality and Philosophical Underpinnings of Deep Ecology:**
Deep ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, with advocates like Arne Næss drawing inspiration from values of Spinoza and Gandhi.
– The movement emphasizes action as a crucial aspect and is considered both a movement and a philosophy.
Deep ecology draws inspiration from Spinoza’s philosophy, advocating for a shift towards ecocentrism and a deep connection with nature.
– It challenges traditional environmental narratives, promoting a holistic view of nature and a fundamental shift in human consciousness towards environmental stewardship.
– The philosophy encourages a sense of kinship with all life forms and respect for biodiversity.

**Key Figures, Literature, and Impact on Environmental Movements:**
– Notable advocates of deep ecology include Arne Naess, Derrick Jensen, and Peter Wohlleben.
Deep ecology literature includes works like ‘Deep Ecology for the 21st Century’ by Arne Naess and ‘Endgame, Volume 2’ by Derrick Jensen.
– The movement has influenced green anarchism, cosmopolitan localism, and holistic science programs.
– Earth First! co-founder David Foreman advocates for deep ecology through radical direct action, aligning with the movement’s principles.
Deep ecology aligns with the holistic science program, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to environmental issues.

Deep ecology (Wikipedia)

Deep ecology is an environmental philosophy that promotes the inherent worth of all living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, and the restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas.

Deep ecology argues that the natural world is a complex of relationships in which the existence of organisms is dependent on the existence of others within ecosystems. It argues that non-vital human interference with or destruction of the natural world poses a threat therefore not only to humans but to all organisms constituting the natural order.

Deep ecology's core principle is the belief that the living environment as a whole should be respected and regarded as having certain basic moral and legal rights to live and flourish, independent of its instrumental benefits for human use. Deep ecology is often framed in terms of the idea of a much broader sociality; it recognizes diverse communities of life on Earth that are composed not only through biotic factors but also, where applicable, through ethical relations, that is, the valuing of other beings as more than just resources. It is described as "deep" because it is regarded as looking more deeply into the reality of humanity's relationship with the natural world, arriving at philosophically more profound conclusions than those of mainstream environmentalism. The movement does not subscribe to anthropocentric environmentalism (which is concerned with conservation of the environment only for exploitation by and for human purposes), since deep ecology is grounded in a different set of philosophical assumptions. Deep ecology takes a holistic view of the world humans live in and seeks to apply to life the understanding that the separate parts of the ecosystem (including humans) function as a whole. The philosophy addresses core principles of different environmental and green movements and advocates a system of environmental ethics advocating wilderness preservation, non-coercive policies encouraging human population decline, and simple living.

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