TH: Deeper Ecology: Essays on Ecological Spirituality
Post-To: Tree-House@Majordomo.Flora.Com (Community Forestry) ----------
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 21:20:00 -0700
From: David Doyle <email@example.com>
I have recently published a book entitled "Deeper Ecology: Essays on
Ecological Spirituality," which outlines and discusses a protocol for the
preservation and restoration of global ecology, wildlife populations, and
ecosystems based on the degradation due to human exploitation. This book
also delves into the "connectedness" aspect of humans to the natural world,
with my own personal reflections on our role in the scheme of the finer
workings of the world's flora and fauna. The Journal of Mammalogy and
The Canadian Field Naturalist, as well as a dozen other publications, are
planning to review this book in the near future. I invite you to read
samples of the text; directly following. Ordering instructions for
the book are shown at the end of these abstracts from the entire,
50 page text (8 1/2" x 11" format). Please share this information
with others, and enjoy! Note: The price for each copy has been drastically
reduced to only $5.95 for each copy!!!
"The figures are astounding in their portrayal of the worldwide rape
of the land: Nearly 100% of the face of the earth in Ethiopia, Japan, and
The United Kingdom has been disturbed; with a similar 75% rate in the U.S.,
Mexico, and China. Also, 95% of the forests in the U.S. have been lost,
while only 10.5% of the total land area in the country is protected there
(The rest (89.5%) is exploited).
As can be seen, the cancerous growth of human invasion has spread to
the far reaches of every continent on mother earth. We have set aside for
parks and refuges, which have shown to be increasingly ineffectual, because
of the island biogeography theory of poor dispersal and geographic isolation,
which causes populations of wildlife to go extinct.
We simply can't section off a small plot of real estate in the midst of
civilization and expect it to function as a micro-ecosystem with unlimited
potential. Furthermore, zoos and captive breeding programs are hardly
a match for true wilderness, for these animals are far less keen to
predators, and often become habitualized and imprinted to humans
and their interactions.
Healthy populations must consist of a great amount of individuals
in order to persist. This is because of genetic traits, mutation,
inbreeding, and general heterozygosity of alleles in the traits shared
and passed on to the offspring. Dispersal, via proximate patch
availability and transportation corridors is the salvation of these
remnants of the dissolved landscape, within which the flora and fauna
have free reign.
A long time before I learned this in my college courses, I keyed in to
this process in the city park bordering nearby hillsides, which at that time
were undeveloped due to rough, mountainous terrain. Over the years, as I
hiked there, I noticed that the city was spreading up the hill, and probably
now over, spilling into another valley, like an explosion with no end.
What was once a wilderness park, with it's coyotes, deer, and rattlesnakes,
readily witnessed; has now become just what I described: A city park,
with a manicured lawn equipped with sprinkler systems and picnic tables
for a Sunday afternoon for the family to "get out into nature."
I bring to this discussion the recurrent buzzword called rainforest,
which evokes majestic visions of valleys filled with rivers of fog, brightly
colored birds; and low and behold, a pair of massive tractors, with a
50-meter length of chain sweeping every tree in it's wake, decimating
a grove in a matter of minutes.
Yes, the tropical rainforest is the most diverse ecosystem on the
planet, primarily because of the highly-specialized niches, incredible
nutrient availability, and proportional energy influx from the rich
and abundant biomass, which seemingly litters the terrain.
Unfortunately, a large proportion of this quality habitat is found
in undeveloped countries, where conservation is a luxury.
A common practice which nearly literally brings tears to my eyes
is the slash-and-burn technique of agricultural clearing of land of which
impoverished, indigenous peoples practice for their livelihood. For, after
a minimal amount of time, the soil in one area becomes nutrient-depleted,
thus a new site must be obtained to produce viable crops, thus forests
are decimated at a sickening and utterly evil rate.
I became morbidly depressed in ecology course years ago when I saw
satellite photographs of the earth taken at night, which showed scores
of "wildfires" burning across the planet, primarily located in rainforests,
caused by what I have just described. The feelings that are conjured by
this atrocity are those of deep pain and a very strong motherly instinct
for the nurturing and healing of this sickness, which is plainly seen to
those, who, like me, have the stomach, or perhaps the honesty to look upon.
The naturalist side of me cannot bear the site of a tree which has been
harvested for human use. For the dismembered stump which remains
is a mockery of the dignity once claimed by the testimonial lifesource
by the one who wields the ax. The simple fact is that trees produce
the oxygen which we breathe. It is pitiful enough to have to stay indoors
on a warm day in a large city to avoid being rendered unconscious from
the poisonous fumes of industry.
The accounts of air pollution are endless, with some of the most
striking to my mind being the Black Forest in Germany, which is nearly
gone, from acid rain caused by the rapid advancement of modern
machinery in that country. A professor of mine once told the class that
air pollution didn't matter, because it was simply blown "somewhere else."
This did not sit well with me, and does not to this day. This will not suffice.
Another example of corporate madness is in a seemingly pristine,
alpine lake, located outside of New York City, where another professor
of mine expected to find countless circles on the top of the water in the
morning from trout foraging for insects (A common site in a typical
wilderness setting). Yet, he found the lake to be entirely, and without
exception, a motionless void of highly acidic water.
Furthermore, scientists have documented a one degree overall increase
in global temperature in recent history, giving evidence to the "greenhouse
effect" of the diminishment of the ozone layer; this perverse, proverbial
newsflash, which has captured the interest of millions over the last few
decades. Again, satellite images show that this risk in our protective
coating from the sun's ultraviolet rays is increasing as time goes on,
caused by the build-up of carbon dioxide, stemming from the overharvest of
Thus I pose a solution in the broadest sense, to deal with a combined
sum of local catastrophes, which has become a global epidemic. What is
needed is a committee composed of leaders from each and every country,
representing each city, state, and tribe which consists of that region.
There must be a protocol for every nation to follow, in order to succeed in
our goal as a race, in the longevity of Homo sapiens as well as all other
forms of life on the biosphere.
I would hope that the petty wars would end, which to outside observers
must seem as trivial as the "too many rats in a cage with no place to go"
syndrome. First and foremost on the agenda will be a global birth rate
of one-child-per-couple throughout their lifetime, and subsidies, as in
China, for those who willingly go without giving birth at all,
and severe penalties for those who exceed this one-child limit.
We must incorporate scientists into our political systems, for any of
this to succeed. My fear and dread comes with the urgency that this process
must be implemented within the next 25 years, or the doom-and-gloom
philosophies of many ecologists will come to prevail. For even though
I may not see one of the mighty black rhinos in Africa in my lifetime,
it simply feels good to know that they are there, and that they are well.
For how can we have respect for ourselves as a species, if we do not
treat other organisms with the same honor and integrity? As a final note,
to synthesize this whole establishment of population control, I believe that
once this is in effect, many, if not all, of our environmental problems will
take care of themselves, since the basic premise of this movement is that
too many humans, requiring too many resources, have basically
mucked it all up."
"The universe is in a constant state of entropy; that is, all matter is
trying to break into a simpler form, and life strives to alter this course
by building and creating an environment of sustainable use. As someone
once told me: Going against nature is a part of nature too. I think that
this is why I prefer simpler living, because it is quite frankly an easier
mode of existence, in such a world of molecular diffusion. For this
thought I introduce, finally, my concept of Deeper Ecology, which
to my thinking is a synthesis of what the Native American Indians
and Buddhists and Taoists were trying to accomplish. With these three
disciplines I shed a light of science and biology into the grand scheme
of cosmic, inter-related metaphysics which seem to dominate the Homo
sapien struggle to at once master the planet and attain a sense of humility
through the process. Deeper Ecology is a realization that we are composed
of the same elements that exist in nature, and thus we are no more important
than all living and non-living material around us. Some suggest that I am
giving up the cause of environmental restoration, and perhaps denying my
species of it's grandeur (Which for some odd reason individuals insist on
promoting). All I am trying to do is propose a level of consciousness which
surpasses most modern belief systems, and which I believe can lead to a
richer and more fulfilling span of life on Spaceship Earth, before each
and every one of our physical bodies returns to the soil. To me this is
reality in it's truest form. This is the skeleton of every argument posed
by every critical thinker that has ever been, and that will set foot upon
this realm. Humans have only been on the biosphere for a fraction
of it's entirety, and we must keep this in mind when trying to establish
notions of mastery and dominance over an entity which gave birth to us
to begin with and will persist long after we have wasted much valuable
time, attempting to reverse it's inherent processes of homeostasis."
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1. Sequoia sempervirens
2. Homo sapiens
4. Genetic Viability
6. Homo sapiens II
7. Ursus americanus
8. Lions, Tigers, and Bears
9. Social Darwinism
10. Spaceship Earth
12. Oncorhynchus tshawytscha
14. Cyanocitta stelleri
15. Carpe diem
16. First Law of Thermodynamics
17. Ecological Angst
18. Homo sapiens III
20. The Circus
21. Tyto alba
22. Lady of the Lake
23. Iguana iguana
24. Tyto alba II
25. "Spotted Owl Tastes Like Chicken"
28. Tyto alba III
30. Deeper Ecology
31. Colaptes auratus
32. "The Chicken or the Egg" Hypothesis
33. Ignorance is Bliss
34. Reality Check
35. Homo sapiens IV
36. Global Ecology
37. Earth Day
38. Canis lupus
39. The "Umbrella" Approach
40. Man's Best Friend
41. The Killing Jar
43. Earth Summit
APPENDIX A: Bear Myths and Neanderthals
APPENDIX B: Important Ecological Reasons For Conserving
Ecosystems Rather Than Simply Individual Species
To order a copy of "Deeper Ecology: Essays on Ecological Spirituality,"
send your name and address and a check or money order (in U.S. funds)
for $5.95 for each copy, plus $3.00 ($1.50 for each additional copy after the
first) to pay for shipping and handling ($10 shipping to countries outside
of U.S. and Canada, $5.00 for additional copies after the first) to:
Wild Side Publishing
P.O. Box 5241
Eureka, CA 95502
Please make your check or money order out to Wild Side Publishing.
You will receive your copie(s) within 4 to 6 weeks from the time we
receive your order! Orders will be sent as Priority First Class U.S. Mail.
For orders of 10 or more copies of the book, please inquire as to discount
Thank you very much for your order!
Wild Side Publishing
P.S. My apologies for any cross-postings and/or duplications of this message.
P.P.S. All text in this message is copywritten by Wild Side Publishing, 1997.