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[ecopath] What is Deep Ecology? (fwd)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 1999 08:37:30 -0700
From: Jeff Owens <email@example.com>
Subject: [ecopath] What is Deep Ecology?
The following is a definition of Deep Ecology taken from the
Deep Ecology discussion list. Originally posted by:
Julie Johnston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
What is DEEP ECOLOGY?
Deep Ecology is a holistic approach to facing world problems
that brings together thinking, feeling, spirituality and
action. It involves moving beyond the individualism of
Western culture towards also seeing ourselves as part of the
earth. This leads to a deeper connection with life, where
Ecology is not just seen as something 'out there', but
something we are part of and have a role to play in.
Two Approaches to Ecology
1.Scientific Ecology - the study of the inter-relationships
between species and their environment.
In this approach, the relationship is of a detached observer
separate from the object of study. The focus is on
measurable data 'out there', collected by experts who know
their 'facts and figures'.
2.Deep Ecology - Experiencing ourselves as part of the living
earth and finding our role in protecting the planet.
In this approach, the relationship is more of an involved
participant, who feels connected with and part of the world
around them. This is for everybody, not just experts, each
being moved by our values, experiences and feelings to do
our bit for the world around us.
The term 'Deep Ecology' was first introduced by the
Norwegian activist and philosopher Arne Naess in the early
1970's, when stressing the need to move beyond superficial
responses to the social and ecological problems we face. He
proposed that we ask 'deeper questions', looking at the 'why
and how' of the way we live and seeing how this fits with
our deeper beliefs, needs and values. Asking questions like
"How can I live in a way that is good for me, other people
and our planet?" may lead us to make deep changes in the way
we live. Deep Ecology can also be seen as part of a much
wider process of questioning of basic assumptions in our
society that is leading to a new way of looking at science,
politics, health care, education, spirituality and many other
areas. Because this change in the way we see things is so
wide ranging, it has been called a new 'worldview'. It
tends to emphasize the relationships between different
areas, bringing together personal and social change, science
and spirituality, economics and ecology. Deep Ecology
applies this new worldview to our relationship with the
earth. In doing this, it challenges deep-seated assumptions
about the way we see ourselves, moving from just seeing
ourselves as 'individuals' towards also seeing ourselves as
part of the earth. This can increase both our sense of
belonging in life and our tendency to act for life.
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