Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Nature's Laws

"Nature's laws affirm instead of prohibit. If you violate her laws you are your own prosecuting attorney, judge, jury, and hangman."

Luther Burbank

"Something Will Have Gone Out of Us"

"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste."

Wallace Stegner, letter to David E. Pesonen of the Wildland Research Center, 3 December 1960 (Thank you, Bekah.)

The Community to Which We Belong

"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Future Generations

"Because we don't think about future generations, they will never forget us."

Henrik Tikkanen

The Murder of Land for Profit

"In America today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see, and nobody calls the cops." ~Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness, 1971

Gandhi: Need Not Greed

"There is a sufficiency in the world for man's need but not for man's greed.'

Mohandas K. Gandhi

"Our Vision Does Not Penetrate the Surface of Things"

"I have ... learned that trade curses everything it handles; and though you trade in messages from heaven, the whole curse of trade attaches to the business."

Henry David Thoreau



"I perceive that we inhabitants of New England live this mean life that we do because our vision does not penetrate the surface of things."

Henry David Thoreau

For All, by Gary Snyder

For All

"... I pledge allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the soil
of Turtle Island
and to the beings who thereon dwell
one ecosystem
in diversity
under the sun
With joyful interpenetration for all."

Gary Snyder, in Turtle Island

Spirits of the Land

"You know, I think if people stay somewhere long enough - even white people - the spirits will begin to speak to them. It's the power of the spirits coming from the land. The spirits and the old powers aren't lost, they just need people to be around long enough and the spirits will begin to influence them." -- Crow elder

Ecological Poetry of Michael McClure

I REMEMBER THE FIELDS
of Kansas and the laws
that made
them flat and bare

I know when and where
the field mouse died.

I watched the rivers tried
for treason,

then laid straight,
and the cottonwood and opossum

placed upon the grate
of petroleum civilization!

"Science Walks in Beauty."

Gary Snyder in, "Turtle Island"

The Loss of Heart and Soul

"Human beings themselves are at risk - not just on some survival-of-civilization level, but more basically on the level of heart and soul. We are ignorant of our own nature and confused about what it is to be a human being."

Gary Snyder

Mass Extinction

"Of all species that have existed on Earth, 99.9 percent are now extinct. Many of them perished in five cataclysmic events.

According to a recent poll, seven out of ten biologists think we are currently in the throes of a sixth mass extinction. Some say it could wipe out as many as 90 percent of all species living today....

....one species -- Homo sapiens -- may be triggering a modern mass extinction."


Peter Ward is professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is also adjunct professor of zoology and of astronomy. He is the author of nine books on biodiversity and the fossil record, and is the principal investigator for the University of Washington's portion of the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Dr. Ward's views are as follows:

"The current mass extinction has been unfolding for millennia, and unlike the greenhouse effect, global warming, or the hole in the ozone, it is visible without sophisticated imagery or complex computer modeling. It is real, and it is happening to a greater or lesser degree all over the globe; it is most apparent, however, in the tropics. It will not eliminate life from the Earth; no mass extinction does that. But enough species will die that the nature of life on the Earth will be forever changed.


Many scientists dispute whether an extinction is currently taking place at all, or suggest that we are facing the prospect but have not yet begun the experience. Others agree that we are indeed in a period of increased extinction, but that the net result will little change the Earth's flora and fauna. I do not share such a sanguine view. I believe that the current extinction is well under way, having started with the dawn of the Ice Age, about 2.5 million years ago, and since then accelerating in its rate of species destruction. In some ways it is very much like the dinosaur-killing event of 65 million years ago, when a biosphere already stressed by rapid changes in climate and sea level was knocked into mass extinction by the impact of asteroids, striking, according to new evidence, simultaneously in North and Central America. A very similar scenario is currently unfolding. Over 2 million years ago, giant glaciers began to cover large portions of the planet, changing climate and sea level on a global scale in the process. And then, 100,000 years ago, another great asteroid hit Earth, this time in Africa. That asteroid is named Homo sapiens."

The Current Mass Extinction of Species

MASS EXTINCTION UNDERWAY


THE CURRENT MASS EXTINCTION:

Human beings are currently causing the greatest
mass extinction of species since the extinction of
the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. If present trends
continue one half of all species of life on earth will
be extinct in 100 years.



Mass Extinction Underway, Majority of Biologists Say

Washington Post
Tuesday, April 21, 1998

By Joby Warrick
Staff Writer

"A majority of the nation's biologists are convinced that a "mass extinction" of plants and animals is underway that poses a major threat to humans in the next century, yet most Americans are only dimly aware of the problem, a poll says.

The rapid disappearance of species was ranked as one of the planet's gravest environmental worries, surpassing pollution, global warming and the thinning of the ozone layer, according to the survey of 400 scientists commissioned by New York's American Museum of Natural History.

The poll's release yesterday comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study of plant diversity that concluded than at least one in eight known plant species is threatened with extinction. Although scientists are divided over the specific numbers, many believe that the rate of loss is greater now than at any time in history.

"The speed at which species are being lost is much faster than any we've seen in the past -- including those [extinctions] related to meteor collisions," said Daniel Simberloff, a University of Tennessee ecologist and prominent expert in biological diversity who participated in the museum's survey. [Note: the last mass extinction caused by a meteor collision was that of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.]

Most of his peers apparently agree. Nearly seven out of 10 of the biologists polled said they believed a "mass extinction" was underway, and an equal number predicted that up to one-fifth of all living species could disappear within 30 years. Nearly all attributed the losses to human activity, especially the destruction of plant and animal habitats.

Among the dissenters, some argue that there is not yet enough data to support the view that a mass extinction is occurring. Many of the estimates of species loss are extrapolations based on the global destruction of rain forests and other rich habitats.

Among non-scientists, meanwhile, the subject appears to have made relatively little impression. Sixty percent of the laymen polled professed little or no familiarity with the concept of biological diversity, and barely half ranked species loss as a "major threat."

The scientists interviewed in the Louis Harris poll were members of the Washington-based American Institute of Biological Sciences, a professional society of more than 5,000 scientists."

Humanity: An Endangered Species

"If you want to see an endangered species, get up and look in the mirror."
- John Young, former Apollo astronaut

THE GAIA HYPOTHESIS

"The Gaia Hypothesis takes the idea of systems further and applies it to the whole planet. All of life on earth can be seen as whole that is more than the sum of its parts, this whole being like a

huge super-lifeform that we call 'Gaia' (after the name for the ancient Greek goddess of the earth). Living systems have a tendency to keep themselves in balance but also to adapt and evolve over time. Scientists have found that the earth also has these tendencies, with feedback mechanisms to 'keep in balance' the temperature and oxygen levels of the atmosphere, just as our bodies maintain the temperature and oxygen levels in our arteries.

The Gaia Hypothesis is stating that the earth is alive and that we are part of it.

The Gaia hypothesis proposed by James Lovelock considers the Earth as a planet sized entity with properties that could not be predicted from the sum of its parts.

The reasons for this as stated in [6] are:

"Life first appeared on Earth about 3,500 million years ago. From that time until now, the presence of fossils shows that the earth’s climate has changed very little. Yet the output of heat from the Sun, the surface properties of the Earth, and the composition of the atmosphere have almost certainly varied greatly over the same period.

The chemical composition of the atmosphere bears no relation to the expectations of steady-state chemical equilibrium. The presence of methane, nitrous oxide, and even nitrogen in our present oxidising atmosphere represents violation of the rules of chemistry to be measured in tens of orders of magnitude. Disequilibria on this scale suggest that the atmosphere is not merely a biological product, but more probably a biological construction: not living, but like a cat’s fur, a bird’s feathers, or the paper of a wasp’s nest, an extension of a living system designed to maintain a chosen environment. Thus the atmospheric concentration of gases such as oxygen and ammonia is found to be kept at an optimum value from which even small departures could have disastrous consequences for life."

Nigel Brett

Deep Ecology Bibliography

Deep Ecology page Cosmic Resources Kit Rainforest Info Centre

DEEP ECOLOGY BIBLIOGRAPHY
Compiled by the Institute for Deep Ecology and various others

* Applications of Ecological Principles * Environmental Issues
* Bioregionalism * Environmental Justice
* Conservation Biology * Living Systems Theory
* Deep Ecology * Nature Writings
* Ecofeminism * Spirituality, Religion & Cosmology
* Economics, Politics and Culture * Miscellaneous
* Ecopsychology * Periodicals
*** CHILDREN'S BOOKS


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Applications of Ecological Principles

Aberley, Doug ed., Futures By Design: The Practice of Ecological Planning, New Society Publishers, 1994.

Alexander, Christopher, A New Theory of Urban Design, Oxford University Press, 1987.

Alexander, Christopher, A Pattern Language, Oxford University Press, 1977.

Alexander, Christopher, The Timeless Way of Building, Oxford University Press, 1979.

Berger, John J., Restoring the Earth, Anchor Press, Doubleday, 1987.

Bowers, C.A., Educating for an Ecologically Sustainable Culture, SUNY Press, 1995.

*Devall, Bill, Living Richly in An Age of Limits, Gibbs M.Smith, Inc., 1993.

Hough, Michael, City Form and Natural Process, Routledge, Chapman & Hall, Inc., 1989.

Jackson, Wes, New Roots for Agriculture, Friends of the Earth, 1980.

Lawlor, Robert, Voices of the First Day, Inner Traditions, 1991.

*Macy, Joanna, Despair and Personal Power in the Nuclear Age, New Society, 1983.

Margolin, Malcolm, The Earth Manual: How to Work on Wild Land Without Taming It, Borgo Press, 1991.

McHarg, Ian L., Design With Nature, Doubleday & Co., 1969.

Orr, David W, Ecological Literacy: Education and the Transition to a Postmodern World, State University of New York Press, 1992.


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Bioregionalism

Aberley, Doug, ed., Boundaries of Home, New Society Publishers, 1993.

Andruss, Van, Christopher Plant, Judith Plant & Eleanor Wright, Home!: A Bioregional Reader, New Society Publishers, 1990.

Harrington, Sheila, ed., Giving the Land a Voice: Mapping our Home Place. (To purchase: Salt Spring Island Community Services, 268 Fulford-Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island, V8K 2K6, Canada.

Sale, Kirkpatrick, Dwellers in the Land, Sierra Club Books, 1985.

Snyder, Gary, The Practice of the Wild, North Point Press, 1990.


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Conservation Biology

Grumbine, R. Edward, Ghost Bears, Island Press, 1992.

Mills, Stephanie, In Service of the Wild, Beacon Press, Boston Massachusetts, l995.

Noss, Reed, Saving Nature's Legacy: Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity, Island Press, 1994.

Wildlands Project, ed., Place of the Wild, Island Press, 1994.


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Deep Ecology

*Abram, David, The Spell of the Sensuous, Pantheon Press, 1996.

Davis, John, Earth First Reader, Peregrine Smith, 1991.

*Devall, Bill & George Sessions, Deep Ecology, Gibbs M. Smith, Inc. 1985.

*Devall, Bill, Simple in Means, Rich in Ends: Practicing Deep Ecology, Peregrine Smith Books, 1988.

Drengson, Alan & Yuichi Inoue, eds., The Deep Ecology Movement:An Introductory Anthology, Spring 1995.

Foreman, Dave, Confessions of an Eco-Warrior, Harmony Books,1991.

Fox, Warwick, Toward A Transpersonal Ecology, Shambhala, 1990.

LaChapelle, Dolores, Sacred Land, Sacred Sex: Rapture of the Deep, Finn Hill Arts, 1988.

*Macy, Joanna & Pat Fleming, Arne Naess, John Seed, Thinking Like A Mountain, New Society Publishers, 1988.

*Macy, Joanna, World as Lover, World As Self, Parallax Press, 1991.

Naess, Arne, Ecology, Community and Lifestyle, Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Reed, Peter & David Rothenberg, Wisdom In The Open Air, Univ. of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Rothenberg, David, Is It Painful To Think?, University of Minnesota Press, 1993.

Sessions, George, Deep Ecology for the 21st Century, Shambhala Publications, l995.

Tobias, Michael ed., Deep Ecology, Avant Books, 1985.


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Ecofeminism

Adams, Carol, ed., Eco-feminism and the Sacred, Continuum Publishing Co., 1993.

Diamond, Irene & Gloria Feman Orenstein, ed., Reweaving the World, Sierra Club Books, 1990.

Griffin, Susan, Woman and Nature, Harper & Row, 1978.

Guard, Greta, ed., Ecofeminism, Women, Animals and Nature, Temple University Press, l993.

Keller, Catherine, From a Broken Web: Separation, Sexism, and Self, Beacon Press, 1983.

Merchant, Carolyn, The Death of Nature, Harper & Row, 1980.

Plant, Judith, ed., Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism, New Society Publishers, 1989.

Plumwood, Valerie, Feminism and the Mastery of Nature, Routledge, 1993.

Shiva, Vandana & Maria Mies, Ecofeminism, Zed Books, 1994.

Shiva, Vandana, Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development, Zed Books, 1988.

Starhawk, Dreaming the Dark, Beacon Press, 1982.


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Economics, Politics and Culture

Berry, Wendell, Home Economics, North Point Press, 1987.

Berry, Wendell, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, Sierra Club Books, 1977.

Berry, Wendell, What Are People For?, North Point Press, 1987.

Daly, Herman & John B. Cobb, Jr., For the Common Good, Beacon Press, 1989.

Eckersley, Robin, Environmentalism and Political Theory, State Univ. of New York Press, 1992.

Ekins, Paul, ed., The Living Economy, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Inc. 1986.

Gore, Al, Earth In Balance, Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992.

Henderson, Hazel, Creating Alternative Futures: The End of Economics, Kumarian Press, 1978

Henderson, Hazel, Building a Win-Win World, Kumarian Press, 1996.

Hawken, Paul, The Ecology of Commerce, HarperCollins, 1993.

Korten David, When Corporations Rule the World, Kumarian Press, 1995.

Manders, Jerry, In The Absence of the Sacred, Sierra Club, 1991.

Manes, Christopher, Green Rage, Little, Brown and Co., 1990.

Norberg-Hodge, Helena, Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh, Sierra Club Books, 1991.

Spretnak, Charlene, The Spiritual Dimensions of Green Politics, Bear & Co., 1986.

Turner, Frederick, Beyond Geography, Rutgers Univ. Press, 1983.


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Ecopsychology

Glendinning, Chellis, "My Name Is Chellis and I'm in Recovery from Western Civilization," Shambhala, Publications, Inc., 1994.

Mathews, Freya, The Ecological Self, Barnes & Noble Books, 1991.

Roszak, Theodore, Person/Planet, Doubleday, 1979.

Roszak, Theodore, The Voice of the Earth, Simon and Schuster, 1992.

Roszak, Theodore, Mary Gomes and Allen Kanner, ed. Ecopsychology: Restoring the Earth, Healing the Mind, Sierra Club Books, 1995.

Shepard, Paul, Nature and Madness, Sierra Club Books, 1982.

Thomashow, Mitchell, Ecological Identity, M. I. T., 1995.

Environmental Ethics and Theory Davis, Donald, Ecophilosophy: A Field Guide to the Literature, R&E Miles, 1989.

Kellert, Stephen & Edward Wilson, eds. The Biophilia Hypothesis, Island Press, l993.

Kropotkin, Pyotr, Mutual Aid, Porter Sargent Publishers, 1902 & 1914.

List, Peter C., Radical Environmentalism, Wadsworth Publishing Co., 1993.

Merchant, Carolyn ed. , Ecology, Humanities Press, 1994.

Merchant, Carolyn, Radical Ecology, Routledge, 1992.

Nash, Roderick, The Rights of Nature, University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.

Nash, Roderick, Wilderness and the American Mind, Yale University Press, 1967.

Oelschlaeger, Max, ed., The Wilderness Condition: Essays in Wilderness and Civilization, Sierra Club Books, 1992.

Zimmerman, Michael, Contesting Earth's Future: Radical Ecology and Post Modernity, University of California Press, 1994.


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Environmental Issues

Brown, Lester, State of the World (Series), World Watch Institute, 1996.

Carson, Rachel, Silent Spring, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1962.

*Devall, Bill, ed., Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry, Sierra Club Books, 1995.

Fobes, N., & Jay, T., Reaching Home: Pacific Salmon People, Northwest Publishing Co., 1995.

Helvarg, David, The War Against the Greens, Sierra Club, 1994.

Little, Charles, The Dying of the Trees, Viking, 1995.

Wilson, Edward O., The Diversity of Life, Harvard University Press, 1992.


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Environmental Justice

Bullard, Robert D., Confronting Environmental Racism, South End Press, 1993.


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Living Systems Theory

Bateson, Gregory, Steps to an Ecology of Mind, Ballantine Books, 1972.

Capra, Fritjof & Brother David Steindl-Rast, Belonging to the Universe: Explorations on the Frontiers of Science and Spirituality, Harper SF, 1992

Capra, Fritjof, The Turning Point, Bantam, 1981.

Goldsmith, Edward, The Way: An Ecological Worldview, Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1993.

Krapfel, Paul, Shifting: Nature's Way of Change, Paul Krapfel, 1989.

*Macy, Joanna, Mutual Causality: Buddhism & General Systems Theory, State University of New York Press, 1991.

Meadows, Donela H., Ed., Beyond the Limits, American Forum, 1992.

Sahtouris, Elisabet, Gaia: From Chaos to Cosmos, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1989.


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Nature Writings

*Kaza, Stephanie, The Attentive Heart: Conversations with Trees, Ballantine Books, 1993.

Knowles, Karen, ed., Celebrating the Land: Women Nature Writings 1850-1991, Northland Publishers, 1992.

Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac, Oxford University Press, 1949

Lopez, Barry, Arctic Dreams, Scribner, 1986.

Lopez, Barry, Crossing Open Ground, Random House, 1989.

Nelson, Richard, The Island Within, Northpoint, 1989.

Tempest, Williams-Terry, Refuge, Random, 1992.

Tempest, Williams-Terry, An Unspoken Hunger, First Vintage Books, 1995.

Willers, Bill., ed., Learning to Listen to the Land, Island Press, 1991.


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Spirituality, Religion, and Cosmology

Badiner, Allan Hunt, ed., Dharma Gaia, Parallax Press, 1990.

Batchelor, Martine & Kerry Brown, Buddhism and Ecology, Sterling, 1992.

Berry, Thomas, The Dream of the Earth, Sierra Club Books, 1990.

Fox, Matthew, The Reinvention of Work, Harper San Francisco, 1995.

Gottlieb, Roger, ed., This Sacred Earth: Religion, Nature and the Environment, Routledge, New York, 1996.

*Hull, Fritz, Earth and Spirit, The Continuum Publishing Co., 1993.

Lonergan, Anne & Caroline Richards, Thomas Berry and the New Cosmology, Twenty-Third Publications, 1987.

McDaniel, Jay, With Roots and Wings, Orbis, 1995.

Nollman, Jim, Spiritual Ecology, Bantam Books, 1990

*Roberts, Elizabeth & Elias Amidon, eds., Earth Prayers, HarperSanFrancisco, 1991.

*Roberts, Elizabeth & Elias Amidon, eds., Life Prayers, HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.

Rockefeller, Steven C. & John Elder, Spirit and Nature, Beacon Press, 1992.

Spretnak, Charlene, States of Grace, HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

Swimme, Brian & Berry, Tom, The Universe Story, HarperCollins, 1992.

Swimme, Brian, The Universe is a Green Dragon, Bear & Company, 1986.


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Miscellaneous

Chase, Steve, ed., Defending the Earth: A Dialogue Between Murray Bookchin and Dave Foreman, South End Press, 1991.

Fox, Stephen, John Muir and His Legacy: The American Conservation Movement, Little, Brown, and Co., 1981.

Jensen, Derrick, Listening to the Land: Conversations About Nature, Culture, and Eros, Sierra Club Books, 1995.

Robbins, John, Diet for a New America, Stillpoint, 1987.

Elgin, Duane, Voluntary Simplicity, William Morrow and Co., Starhawk, Fifth Sacred Thing, (Fiction)


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Periodicals

Creation Spirituality, Box 8749, Emeryville, CA 94662.

Earth First Journal, P.O. Box 1415, Eugene, OR 97440.

Earth Island Journal, 300 Broadway Ste. 28, San Francisco, CA 94133-3312.

EarthLight, 1558 Mercy St., Mountain View CA 94041.

Ecopsychology Newsletter, Mill Valley, CA.

Green Teacher, 95 Robert Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2K5, Canada.

High Country News, 119 Grand Avenue, Paonia, CO 81428.

In Context, (On the World Wide Web: www.context.org), 306 Louisa Street, Langley, WA, 98260.

Journal of Environmental Education, 1319 Eighteenth NW, Washington DC 20036.

Journal of Environmental Ethics, Dept. of Philosophy, Univ of North Texas, Box 13496, Denton, TX 76203.

Northwest Environment Watch, 1402 Third Ave., Ste. 1127, Seattle, WA, 98101.

Orion, 136 E. 64th St., New York, NY 10021

Talking Leaves, 1430 Willamette, Ste. 367, Eugene, Cascadia Bioregion, OR, 97401.

Terra Nova, MIT Press Journals, 55 Hayward St., Cambridge, MA 02142.

The Trumpeter, P.O. Box 5856, Victoria, BC V8R 6S8, Canada.

Whole Earth Review, P.O. Box 38, Sausalito, CA 94966

Wild Duck Review, 419 Spring St., Suite D, Nevada City, CA 95959.

Wild Earth, P.O. Box 455, Richmond, VT 05477.

Worldwatch, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20036.


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Children's Stories That Honor the Earth
Reprinted from Deep Ecology News, Spring 1999 by Brian Lanahan - additional books updated 9/03 from Roger Davies

* Browner, David Ross, Reading the Earth: A Story of Wildness. California: Berkeley Hills Books, 2000.

Three children hear an explanation of the origins of the earth and of the evolution of earth's creatures.

* Carle, Eric, The Tiny Seed, Picture Book Studio, 1987

In a beautifully illustrated book, Carle portrays the life cycle of a flower through the adventures of a single seed as it struggles to survive and grow. This is a good story to support activities in the garden, as well as a metaphor for the trials and tribulations of growing up.

* Carter, Forrest, The Education of Little Tree, University of New Mexico Press 1976

Autobiographical rememberances of the author's life with his Eastern Cherokee Hill country grandparents.

*Cowcher, Helen, Rainforest. London: Milet Limited-London, 1997.

A brightly illustrated book introducing children to the many kinds of plants and animals living in the rainforest.

* Frasier, Debra, Out of the Ocean. San Diego: Harcourt, 1998.

A mother and daughter appreciate the many treasures of the ocean-- some that fit in the pocket, and some that do not.

* Gibbons, Gail, Stargazers. New York: Holiday House, 1992.

A simple introduction to astronomers and astronomy.

* Hoberman, Mary Ann, A House is a House for Me, Viking Press, 1978

Here is a delightful rhyme book that describes the dwelling places of the many creatures and objects a child encounters in a day. It emphasizes that "each creature that's known has a house of its own, and the Earth is a house for us all."

* Jackson, Ellen, The Tree of Life: The Wonders of Evolution. Buffalo, NY :Prometheus Books, 1993.

A simple story of evolution from the primordial seas to humanity. Locker,

* Lesser, Carolyn, The Goodnight Circle, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1994.

A good bedtime story about the lives of diurnal animals including deer, squirrels, and foxes, and nocturnal creatures such as moths, owls, and possums as they follow their alternate cycles of waking and sleeping. A realistic portrayal of life'sdaily rhythms and how they affect the lives of fellow creatures.

* McNulty, Faith, How Whales Walked into the Sea. New York: Scholastic Press, 1999.

Whales were originally land-dwelling mammals that evolved into sea animals-- this book explains how.

* Patterson, Francine, Koko's Kitten. New York: Scholastic, 1985.

Koko is a real gorilla who communicates with humans through sign language. This is the story of how she asked for and received a pet cat, and how she cared for and loved her pet.

* Pratt, Kristin Joy, A Swim Through the Sea. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1994.

A seahorse discovers many of the other creatures who share the ocean with him.

* Pratt, Kristen Joy, A Walk in the Rainforest. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1992.

An ant journeys through the rainforest, discovering many wondrous plants and animals.

* Dr. Seuss, The Lorax, Random House, 1971

Who speaks for the trees? The Lorax does in this cautionary tale of forgetting our place iin the web of life as we pursue money and fame.

* Sheehan, Katherine and Waidner, Mary, Earth Child, Council Oak Books, 1997

An indispensabe source for ecological parents and educators who wish to know more. Includes all sorts of games, stories, and activities involving the earth.

* Silverstein, Shel, The Giving Tree, Harper and Row, 1964

This classic story about the relationship between a boy and a tree is both a lesson in unconditional love and a reminder of all the gifts we receive from trees. It also gets kids thinking about how they might reciprocate by caring for trees in return.

* Simon, Seymour, Galaxies. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1988.

Explains the shapes and origins of different kinds of galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

* Simon, Seymour, The Universe. Singapore: Harper Collins Publishers, 1998.

A scientific description of the universe, its origins, and many of its phenomena. Illustrated with beautiful photographs, many of which were taken with the Hubble telescope.

* Thomas, Water Dance. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1997.

A poetic, first-person narrative of the water cycle.

* Thornhill, Jan, A Tree in a Forest. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992.

A sugar maple lives for more than two hundred years, and witnesses many changes during its lifetime. Both humans and animals interact with the tree during its lifecycle

Deep Ecology

Deep Ecology

"Nature is the first ethical teacher of man. -- Peter Kropotkin

Unless ye believe ye shall not understand. -- St Augustine

I was born a thousand years ago, born in the culture of bows and arrows ... born in an age when people loved the things of nature and spoke to it as though it had a soul. -- Chief Dan George

The woods were formerly temples of the deities, and even now simple country folk dedicate a tall tree to a God with the ritual of olden times; and we adore sacred groves and the very silence that reigns in them no less devoutly than images that gleam in gold and ivory. -- Pliny

I"n the stillness of the mighty woods, man is made aware of the divine. -- Richard St Barbe Baker

There is no better way to please the Buddha than to please all sentient beings. -- Ladakhi saying

"Ecology and spirituality are fundamentally connected, because deep ecological awareness, ultimately, is spiritual awareness. -- Fritjof Capra

Every social transformation ... has rested on a new metaphysical and ideological base; or rather, upon deeper stirrings and intuitions whose rationalised expression takes the form of a new picture of the cosmos and the nature of man. -- Lewis Mumford

... there is reason to hope that the ecology-based revitalist movements of the future will seek to achieve their ends in the true Gandhian tradition. It could be that Deep Ecology, with its ethical and metaphysical preoccupations, might well develop into such a movement. -- Edward Goldsmith

The main hope for changing humanity's present course may lie ... in the development of a world view drawn partly from ecological principles - in the so-called deep ecology movement. -- Paul Ehrlich

The religious behaviour of man contributes to maintaining the sanctity of the world. -- Mircea Eliade

The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess coined the phrase deep ecology to describe deep ecological awareness. Deep ecology is the foundation of a branch of philosophy known as ecophilosophy, Arne Naess prefers the term ecosophy, that deals with the ethics of Gaia.

Fritjof Capra defined deep ecology by contrasting it with shallow ecology and showing that it is a network concept:

Shallow ecology in anthropocentric, or human-centred. It views humans as above or outside of nature, as the source of all value, and ascribes only instrumental, or 'use', value to nature. Deep ecology does not separate humans - or anything else - from the natural environment. It does see the world not as a collection of isolated objects but as a network of phenomena that are fundamentally interconnected and interdependent. Deep ecology recognizes the intrinsic value of all living beings and views human beings as just one particular strand in the web of life.

Arne Naess formally defined deep ecology as Ecosophy T (N - norm, H - hypothesis).


N1: Self-realization!
H1: The higher the Self-realization attained by anyone, the broader and deeper the identification with others.
H2: The higher the level of Self-realization attained by anyone, the more its further increase depends upon the Self-realization of others.
H3: Complete Self-realization of anyone depends on that of all.
N2: Self-realization for all living beings!
H4: Diversity of life increases Self-realization potentials.
N3: Diversity of life!
H5: Complexity of life increases Self-realization potentials.
N4: Complexity!
H6: Life resources of the Earth are limited.
H7: Symbiosis maximises Self-realization potentials under conditions of limited resources.
N5: Symbiosis!
Arne Naess was strongly influenced by Baruch Spinoza and Mahatma Gandhi. Self-realisation is in the sense used by Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi gave meaning to Self-realisation in various contexts: 'Life is an aspiration, Its mission is to strive after perfection, which is self-realisation'; commenting on the Bhagavad Gita 'Man is not at peace with himself till he has become like unto God. The endeavour to reach this state is the supreme, the only ambition worth having. And this is self-realisation. This self-realisation is the subject of the Gita, as it is of all scriptures ... to be a real devotee is to realise oneself. Self-realisation is not something apart.' As Arne Naess notes for Gandhi '"To realise God," "to realise the Self" and "to realise the Truth" are three expressions of the same development.'

Arne Naess on the influence of Gandhi:

As a student and admirer since 1930 of Gandhi's non-violent direct actions in bloody conflicts, I am inevitably influenced by his metaphysics which to him personally furnished tremendously powerful motivation and which contributed to keeping him going until his death. His supreme aim was not India's political liberation. He led a crusade against extreme poverty, caste suppression, and against terror in the name of religion. The crusade was necessary, but the liberation of the individual human being was his supreme aim. It is strange for many to listen to what he himself said about this ultimate goal:

What I want to achieve - what I have been striving and pining to achieve these thirty years - is self-realization, to see God face to face, to attain Moksha (Liberation). I live and move and have my being in pursuit of that gaol. All that I do by way of speaking and writing, and all my ventures in the political field, are directed to this same end.

Arne Naess on Spinoza, Self-realisation and the link with Gandhi:

Does Spinoza think of the sage as a meditative rather than socially and otherwise active person? ...

My main argument is ... inspired by ... variety of Mahayana Buddhism ... The teaching that the further along the path to supreme levels of freedom a human being proceeds, the greater the identification and compassion and therefore the greater the effort to help others along the same path. This implies activity of social and political relevance. Gandhi, considering Buddhism to be a reformed Hinduism, furnishes a good example. His mistakes were many, but he tried through meditation of sorts (combined with fasting) to improve the quality of his action, especially the consistency in maintaining a broad and lofty perspective. He deplored the followers in his ashrams who spurned outward action and concentrated on metaphysics, meditation, and fasting. He conceived that as a kind of spiritual egotism. He did not recognise yoga, the meditation and prayer as an adequate way to insight, perfection and freedom. Advance towards the highest levels require interaction with the terrifying complexities of social life.

In a formal study of Spinoza, Naess notes that 'the opposite of the process of self-realization we give ... the name "alienation"'.

Camped out in Death Valley, California, during 1984, George Sessions and Arne Naess draw up eight basic principles that describe deep ecology:


The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves. These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.
Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realisation of these values and are also values in themselves.
Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity accept to satisfy vital needs.
The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life demands such a decrease.
Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly rapidly worsening.
Policies must therefore be changed. These policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.
The ideological change is mainly in appreciating life quality rather than adhering to to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.
Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary change.
Wilderness, especially deserts, have a special place in communicating spiritual wisdom to man. Moses carried the Ten Commandments down from a mountainside, Buddha received enlightenment whilst meditating under a tree, John the Baptist carried out his baptisms in the River Jordan, Jesus Christ formulated his basic tenets whilst wandering in the desert, Henry David Thoreau camped out for two years in a wooden hut on the north side of Walden Pond, George Sessions and Arne Naess drew up the eight principles of deep ecology whist camped out in Death Valley.

Without a wilderness to retreat to we will lose a place of contemplation, a place from which we can draw deep spiritual wisdom.

The Sea of Galilee is where Christ walked on water to go to the rescue of stricken disciples. It is a place of peace and solitude, a place of reverence, a place where pilgrims go. There are plans to turn the assumed spot into a major tourist attraction. A bridge will be built just under the surface of the waves so that tourist can be photographed 'walking on water'. Lands End, a wild and windy place at the most western end of Cornwall, had a tourist attraction built, paths manicured, car parks built. Tintagel, allegedly the birth place of King Arthur, was probably once an attractive place, now it has tacky tourist shops selling even tackier gifts, King Arthur's filling station.

Deep ecology is consistent with a network, Gaian, ecological world-view. It arises naturally from the network structure of life, from the Gaian hierarchical order. Its ethics enables man to behave homeotelically towards the Gain order.

Arne Naess:

Care flows naturally if the 'self' is widened and deepened so that protection of free Nature is felt and conceived as protection of ourselves ... Just as we need no morals to make us breathe ... [so] if your 'self' in the wide sense embraces another being, you need no moral exhortation to show care ... You care for yourself without feeling any moral pressure to do it ... If reality is like it is experienced by the ecological self, our behaviour naturally and beautifully follows norms of strict environmental ethics.

If we acquire deep ecological awareness we become intuitively aware, ineffable knowledge, tribal wisdom, as Fritjof Capra says 'the connection between an ecological perception of the world and corresponding behaviour is not a logical but a psychological connection':

Logic does not lead us from the fact that we are an integral part of the web of life to certain norms of how we should live. However if we have deep ecological awareness, or experience, of being part of the web of life, then we will (as opposed to should) be inclined to care for all living nature. Indeed, we can scarcely refrain from responding in this way.

Wendell Berry:

People need more than to understand their obligations to one another and to earth; they also need the feelings of such obligations.

As Arne Naess says 'The essence of deep ecology is to ask deeper questions.' It is only by asking deep questions of today's industrialised, growth-oriented, greedy, materialistic society that we will force a paradigm shift. To concentrate not on simple Cartesian solutions to the causes of pollution, but to probe ever deeper to obtain a holistic view.

In the view of Arne Naess to ask deep questions is to lead to philosophy:

Persistent why's and how's lead to philosophy ... Every why- and how- string leads to philosophy.

Arne Naess used Rachel Carson's Silent Spring as an example to illustrate deep questioning:

In the movement instigated largely through the efforts of Rachel Carson and her friends, the 'unecological' policies of industrial nations were sharply criticized. The foundation of the criticism was not pollution, waste of resources and disharmony between population and production rate in non-industrialized nations. The foundation rested on answers to deeper questions of 'why?' and 'how?'. Consequently the recommended policies also touched fundamentals such as man's attitude towards nature, industrial man's attitude towards non-industrial cultures, and the ecological aspects of widely different economic systems.

Medieval historian Lynn White illustrates the failure of the shallow approach to ecological problems and the need for a deep ethical dimension:

I have not discovered anyone who publicly advocates pollution. Everybody says that he is against it. Yet the crisis deepens because all specific measures to remedy it are either undercut by 'legitimate' interest groups, or demands kinds of regional cooperation for which our political system does not provide. We deserve our increasing pollution because, according to our structure of values, so many other things have priority over achieving a viable ecology. ... our structure of values ... is deep rooted in us ... Until it is eradicated not only from our minds but also from our emotions, we shall doubtless be unable to make fundamental changes in our attitudes and actions affecting ecology.

To probe deeper is to strip away the outer reality. It has close parallels with subatomic physics and the inner world of deep meditation. As with Buddhism, the inner reality is to achieve oneness with all reality.

Not surprisingly the early proponents of deep ecology and what may be loosely grouped as the 'Deep Ecology School' are nearly all either environmentalists, philosophers, poets, or Buddhists: Arne Naess (mountaineer, philosopher, sociologist and environmental activist), George Sessions (philosopher), Bill Devall (sociologist, philosopher, environmental activist and practitioner of aikido), Alan Drengson (philosopher and practitioner of aikido), Michael Zimmerman (Buddhist leanings), Dolores LaChapelle (mountaineer, teacher of T'ai Chi), Robert Aitken (poet and Zen Buddhist), Gary Snyder (mountaineer, poet and Zen Buddhist), Michael Soule (conservationist, biologist and Buddhist), John Seed (ecological activist with Buddhist leanings), Joanna Macy (environmental and social activist, Buddhist), Jeremy Haywood (Buddhist), Paul Ehrlich (ecologist), Fritjof Capra (polymath and practitioner of T'ai Chi), Edward Goldsmith (polymath and ecophilosopher).

Arne Naess, born 1912, is Norway's leading philosopher. No ivory tower academic, Arne Naess is more than happy to put his principles into action by joining an environmental demonstration.

Erik Dammann:

As we have seen, a number of academics in several countries have already given up their elite positions in order to make their knowledge available to [grassroots] movements and to use their analytical faculties in investigating the possibilities for action on the movements' premises. A Norwegian example is the philosopher Arne Naess who gave up his professorship and emerged from academic isolation in order to be freer to participate in the multitude of popular campaigns for ecology and social change. His fearless action has added weight to these campaigns, and the well-known picture of the internationally renowned professor calmly being carried away by the police from the protest camp at Mardola has certainly given many good citizens a new understanding that activists are not only 'hysterical extremists'. His books, especially Ecology, Society and Life-style, have without doubt strengthened many of the more intellectually oriented campaigners in their understanding of such things as the importance of a holistic approach and of value priorities.

The Alta Confrontation, that took place in northern Norway, 14 January 1981, was the largest protest ever seen in Norway, when large numbers of Lapps, joined by lawyers, academics, chained themselves together to protest at the construction of large-scale dam and power generation project. 600 police confronted more than 1,000 demonstrators. Arne Naess was one of the protesters who had to be cut free.

During WWII Arne Naess was an active participant in the nonviolent resistance to Nazi occupation. In the post-war years he was involved in the peace movement, then later in the ecology movement. Arne Naess resigned his chair of philosophy at the University of Oslo in 1969 to enable him to take a more activist role, or as he put it because he 'wanted to live rather than function'. Arne Naess's ecophilosophical work dates from the resignation of his professorship in 1969.

George Sessions and Bill Devall were the first to recognise the value of the work of Arne Naess, and it was their heavy promotion that brought Naess to international attention.

Sessions writing of Devall gives an idea of the ecological commitment:

Bill put his deep ecology commitment into practice. He practices 'living in place' with a very low-entropy, low consumption life style. For the last ten years, Bill has worked relentlessly with environmental organisations and individually to save the Siskiyous redwoods, Humboldt Bay and seacoast, and the entire North Coast area from further degradation from US Forest Service, the timbering companies, developers, and others. He was largely instrumental in setting up the Northcoast Environmental Centre, a coalition of environmental groups (Sierra Club, Audubon, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the River, etc.) and a model of its kind. Bill is a frequent contributor to Econews (Newsletter of the Northeast Environmental Center).

Deep ecology had deep roots before Arne Naess gave the philosophy coherence by coining the phrase and providing a formal framework.

George Sessions:

The philosophical roots of the Deep Ecology movement are found in the ecocentrism and social criticisms of Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, D H Lawrence, Robinson Jeffers and Aldous Huxley. Influential ecological/social criticism has been derived also from the writings of George Orwell and Theodore Roszak, and from the critiques of the problems created by the rise of civilizations written by the maverick historian Lewis Mumford. Further inspiration for contemporary ecological consciousness and the Deep Ecology movement can be traced to ecocentric religions and the ways of life of primal peoples around the world, and to Taoism, Saint Francis of Assisi, the Romantic Nature-oriented counterculture of the nineteenth century with its roots in Spinoza, and the Zen Buddhism of Alan Watts and Gary Snyder.

Lynn White, who was highly critical of Christianity's role in today's ecological crisis 'Christianity bears a huge burden of guilt', saw the solution lay beyond the technological dimension and involved addressing the spiritual or ethical dimension, the position vis-a-vis man versus nature and his right to exploit:

What we do about ecology depends on our ideas of the man-nature relationship. More science and more technology are not going to get us out of the present ecological crisis until we find a new religion, or rethink our old one ... We shall continue to have a worsening ecological crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence other than to serve man ... Since the roots of our trouble are so largely religious, the remedy must be essentially religious whether we call it that or not.

More recently Christian Theologians and Biblical scholars, Father Robert Murray, Margaret Barker, Vincent Rossi, have begun to question the traditional Biblical interpretation that Man was granted dominion over all God's creatures, ie granted the absolute right to exploit, and that instead there was a Cosmic Covenant and that Man's role was to help maintain the cosmic order for all of God's Creation. An interpretation that would have been recognisable to St Ephrem the Syrian, St Dionysius the Areopagite, St Maximus the Confessor, Hildegard von Bingen and forms the world-view of vernacular man and chthonic societies. Organisations like ARC and REEP are attempting to reconnect mainstream religions with their environment.

Isaiah 24:4-6:


The earth mourns and withers,
the world languishes and withers;
the heavens languish together with the earth.
The earth lies polluted
under its inhabitants;
for they have transgressed the laws,
violated the statutes,
broken the everlasting covenant.
Therefore a curse devours the earth,
and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt;
therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched,
and few men are left.

In vernacular societies, spirituality and awareness of the natural world is part of everyday existence.

The mountainous region of Ladakh has a Tibetan culture. Helena Norberg-Hodge, who has spent some time living in Ladakh, describes the planting of seed at the start of the season, before the seed is planted an astrologer is consulted to pick the right day and the person with the right sign to sow the first seed:

Next, the spirits of the earth and water - the sadak and the Ihu - must be pacified: the worms of the soil, the fish of the streams, the soul of the land. They can easily be angered; the turning of a spade, the breaking of stones, even walking on the ground above them can upset their peace. Before sowing, a feast is prepared in their honour. For an entire day a group of monks recite prayers; no one eats meat or drinks chang (the local barley brew). In a cluster of trees at the edge of the village, where a small mound of clay bricks has been built for the spirits, milk is offered. As the sun sets, other offerings are thrown into the stream.

[next day] ... As the sun appears, the whole family gathers. Two men carry the wooden plough; ahead a pair of massive dzo dwarf the children who lead them. Work and festivity are one. People drink chang from silver-lined cups, and the air hums with the sounds of celebration. A monk in robes of deep maroon chants a sacred text; laughter and song drift back and forth from field to field. The ravages of winter are over.

Before technology and Big Business took over and Western farming degenerated into little more than strip mining of agriculture land, Western farmers had the same empathy with their land. The soil and all that grew in it were treated with reverence, the farmers' role was to improve the land through his understanding of the natural world, to work with Nature not against, the harvest was a time for enjoyment and merriment; now the soil, the plants, the animals, the landscape, those who toil on the land, are assets to be used and abused as the market dictates.

The emergence of deep ecology and its coincidence with the emergence of radical movements of the 1960s, and the way it has given these movements a spiritual/ethical dimension, and added to their radicalisation, is a pointer to the future direction.

George Sessions:

The long-range Deep Ecology movement emerged more or less spontaneously and informally as a philosophical and scientific social/political movement during the so-called Ecological Revolution of the 1960s. Its main concern has been to bring about a major paradigm shift - a shift in perception, values, and lifestyles - as a basis for redirecting the ecologically destructive path of modern industrial growth societies. Since the 1960s, the long-range Deep Ecology movement has been characterised philosophically by a move from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism, and by environmental activism.

Paul Ehrlich sees deep ecology as the way forward:

The main hope for changing humanity's present course may lie ... in the development of a world view drawn partly from ecological principles - in the so-called deep ecology movement. The term 'deep ecology' was coined in 1972 by Arne Naess of the University of Oslo to contrast with the fight against pollution and resource depletion in developed countries, which he called 'shallow ecology'. The deep ecology movement thinks today's human thought patterns and and social organization are inadequate to deal with the population-resource-environmental crisis - a view with which I tend to agree. Within the movement disagreement abounds, but most of its adherents favour a much less anthropocentric, more egalitarian world, with greater emphasis on empathy and less on scientific rationality.

I am convinced that such a quasi-religious movement, one concerned with the need to change the values that now govern much of human activity, is essential to the persistence of our civilization.

Fritjof Capra also sees deep ecology as the way forward:

The new vision of reality is an ecological vision in a sense which goes far beyond the immediate concerns with environmental protection. To emphasise this deeper meaning of ecology, philosophers and scientists have begun to make a distinction between 'deep ecology' and 'shallow environmentalism'. Whereas shallow environmentalism is concerned with more efficient control and management of the natural environment for the benefit of 'man', the deep ecology movement recognizes that ecological balance will require profound changes in our perception of the role of human beings in the planetary ecosystem. In short, it will require a new philosophical and religious basis.

Deep ecology is supported by modern science, and in particular by the new systems approach, but it is rooted in a perception of reality that goes beyond the scientific framework to an intuitive awareness of the oneness of all life, the interdependence of its multiple manifestations and its cycles of change and transformation. When the concept of the human spirit is understood in this sense, as the mode of consciousness in which the individual feels connected to the cosmos as a whole, it becomes clear that ecological awareness is truly spiritual. Indeed, the idea of the individual being linked to the cosmos is expressed in the Latin root of the word religion, religare ('to bind strongly'), as well as the Sanskrit yoga, which means union.

The one movement that has adopted Deep Ecology in its entirety is Earth First! Spawned out of a disillusionment with traditional ecological campaigns, they recognised the value of nature for its own intrinsic self, the need to value all communities, including human communities, the need for biodiversity. They have successfully adopted the tactics of the civil rights and peace movements and use direct action to further their aims. Their structure lacks structure, small, self-contained, semi-autonomous units, with loose network structures forming the whole. Capital and Big Business, being by their very nature anti-Nature, are seen as the ultimate enemy. Earth First! are the Jesuits of Deep Ecology.

Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!:

Earth First! has led the effort to reframe the question of wilderness preservation from an aesthetic and utilitarian one to an ecological one, from a focus on scenery and recreation to a focus on biological diversity.

Similarly, we have gone beyond the agenda of mainstream conservation groups to protect a portion of the remaining wilderness by calling for the reintroduction of extirpated species and the restoration of vast wilderness tracts. We have brought the discussion of biocentric philosophy - Deep Ecology - out of dusty academic journals. We have effectively introduced nonviolent civil disobedience into the repertoire of wildlife preservation activism. We have also helped to jolt the conservation movement out of its middle-age lethargy, and re-inspire it with passion, joy, and humor. In doing all of this, Earth First! has restructured the conservation spectrum and redefined the parameters of debate on ecological matters.

Warwick Fox has attempted to address what he sees as fundamental flaws in deep ecology and extend it by what he calls transpersonal ecology (trans in this context meaning transcend).

For growing numbers of converts, deep ecology is the religion of the new millennium, the new ethics, the new morality, a return to the chthonic world-view of vernacular man, part of the paradigm shift to a new ecological world-view."

Author unknown



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Keith Parkins, Wendell Berry, June 1999

Keith Parkins, Gary Snyder, June 1999

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Gaia index ~ Life ~ Gaia ~ Christianity and Gaia ~ Direct Action
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(c) Keith Parkins 1999-2000 -- March 2000 rev 8

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Deep Ecology Platform

1) The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth; intrinsic value; inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.

2) Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.

3) Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

4) Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

5) The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.

6) Policies must therefore be changed. The changes in policies affect basic economic, technological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.

7) The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.

8) Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.

-- Arne Naess and George Sessions --

Deep Ecology

"Deep Ecology is a movement which promotes an awareness of the oneness and interconnection of all life and its cycles of change and transformation.

Life is fundamentally one. ... The deep ecology movement is the ecology movement which questions deeper. ..The adjective 'deep' stresses that we ask why and how, where others do not.
(Arne Naess, who coined the phrase 'deep ecology' in 1972)

A new paradigm of science, the Metaphysics of Space and the Wave Structure of Matter (Wolff, Haselhurst) offers great insight into explaining the dynamic unity of reality. Thus the Deep Ecologists realisation that All is One and Interconnected is correct (it is Space which connects all things) and the error has been the conception of matter as discrete particles (which obviously does not explain matter's activity / flux nor its interconnection). The dynamic unity of reality is not a new idea, its foundation lies with the ancient philosophers. For thousands of years, philosophers have gazed at the stars and known that One thing must exist that is common to and connects the Many things within the Universe. As Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz profoundly says;

Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another. (Leibniz, 1670)

Albert Einstein also had a good understanding of humans as an inseparable part of the One, as he writes;

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe ... We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. (Albert Einstein)

Unfortunately (and tragically), this knowledge of our interconnection to the Universe (Nature, God) has been lost (or is naively considered as not important) to modern day humanity. We are 'bleeding at the roots because we are cut off from the Earth' as D. H. Lawrence writes."

Deep Ecology

Deep Experience

"DEEP EXPERIENCE, or it might be termed a moment of enlightenment, is often what gets a person started along a deep ecological path.

Stephan Harding [10] cites Aldo Leopold, from his book A Sand County Almanac, as an example of this. For Leopold, the experience was of sufficient intensity to trigger a total reorientation in his life's work as a wildlife manager and ecologist. In the 1920s he had been appointed by the US government to develop a rational, scientific policy for eradicating the wolf from the entire United States. The justification for this intervention was that wolves competed with sport hunters for deer, so that fewer wolves would mean more deer for the hunters.

As a wildlife manager of those times, Leopold adhered to the unquestioning belief that humans were superior to the rest of nature, and were thus morally justified in manipulating it as much as was required in order to maximise human welfare.

One morning, Leopold was out with some friends on a walk in the mountains. Being hunters, they carried their rifles with them, in case they got a chance to kill some wolves. It got around to lunchtime, and they sat down on a cliff overlooking a turbulent river. Soon they saw what appeared to be some deer fording the torrent, but they soon realised that it was a pack of wolves. They took up their rifles and began to shoot excitedly into the pack, but with little accuracy. Eventually an old wolf was down by the side of the river, and Leopold rushed down to gloat at her death. What met him was a fierce green fire dying in the wolf's eyes. He writes in a chapter entitled Thinking like a Mountain that: ''there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain. I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunter's paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.''

"Thinking like a mountain" has become a key phrase in the deep ecology movement, as evidenced by the book Thinking like a mountain – towards a council of all beings [2].

Also for Arne Naess a key influence has been his deep relationship to Hallingskarvet mountain in central Norway, where, in 1937, he built a simple cabin at the place called Tvergastein (crossed stones). It is in this place: high up, totally isolated, with commanding views of landscape down below, with Arctic storms threatening to blow away his roof, that most of his important work in deep ecology has been done. In this inhospitable retreat, under snow and ice for most of the year, where only lichen and tiny alpine flowers grow, Arne Naess has spent a total of more than ten years, watching, climbing, thinking, writing, and adoring the mountain. [10]

Currently in the USA logging companies are trying to stop some of the action of deep ecologists by claiming that it is a religion. "...Insofar as these deep feelings are religious, deep ecology has a religious component, and those people who have done the most to make societies aware of the destructive way in which we live in relation to natural settings have had such religious feelings."(Devall & Sessions, 1985) [15]


Despairwork
"Until now, every generation throughout history lived with the tacit certainty that other generations would follow." The loss of that certainty "is the pivotal psychological reality of our time." Which results in anger, rage, guilt and sorrow beyond historical personal concern to the suffering of all life and the planet itself. This is what Joanna Macy [18] identified as our response to the threat of global nuclear war in the 1960s.

As parts of a larger body we feel, at a semi-conscious level, acute pain. Pain serves as a warning signal, but we block it out because it hurts, is frightening and we do not understand it. Apathy means the refusal to experience pain, this is reflected in disbelief and denial and a double life, upbeat on the surface, but unacknowledged awareness of unnamed dangers below.

Macy gives the following reasons for our apathy:

Fear of appearing Stupid
Fear of Guilt (from being a part of society causing the problem)
Fear of Causing Distress (burdening others with our worries)
Fear of Provoking Disaster (superstition of naming the devil or self-fulfilling thoughts)
Fear of Appearing Unpatriotic
Fear of Sowing Panic
Fear of Religious Doubt (trust God, he won’t let this happen)
Fear of appearing Too Emotional, self-indulgent, idealistic…
Sense of Separate Existence (all our drives are ego-centred)
Fear of feeling Powerless (not being in control, "nothing I can do about it")
Some of the effects of this repression are: alienation, displacement activities, like consumerism, destructive behaviour, political passivity, blocking out painful information, burnout and a sense of powerlessness.

To counter this Joanna Macy developed "Despairwork". This has five fundamental principles:

Feelings of pain for our world are natural and healthy.
This pain is morbid only if denied
Information alone is not enough (we know we are in danger, can we free ourselves to respond?)
Unblocking repressed feelings releases energy and clears the mind
Unblocking our pain for the world reconnects us with the larger web of life
Despairwork is a key part of Deep Ecology workshops, known as Despair and Empowerment. It is comparable to a rite of passage. Despairwork is not a solo venture it is undertaken in the context of community [19]

Alan Watts said, "You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here."

If we see ourselves as part of the world, it becomes possible to see that such uncomfortable feelings may serve a valuable function. Just as it hurts when we put our finger over a flame, 'pain for the world' alerts us to the injuries of our world and can move us to respond. Allowing ourselves to feel for our world also opens us to a source of energy and aliveness, and a strength that comes from connection to something more than just our narrow selves."

Who Are We?

"What is wrong with our culture is that it offers us an inaccurate conception of the self. It depicts the personal self as existing in competition with and in opposition to nature. [We fail to realise that] if we destroy our environment, we are destroying what is in fact our larger self."

Freya Matthew


"Deep ecologists claim that before knowing what we ought to do, we must understand who we really are."

Michael Zimmerman