Deep Ecology

The norwegian philosopher Arne Næss was the first to introduce the term "deep ecology". He distinguished between the "shallow" ecology movment and the "deep" ecology movement. Næss stated that the shallow ecology movement would fight against pollutian and resource depletion with the health and affluence of people in the developed countries as central objectives. On the other hand, the deep ecology movement were concerned about the well being of all humans, and the well being of all living beings and Nature itself.

Essential to the perspectives wthin the deep ecological movement is that nature has intrinsic value. This clearly is shown in the eight principles which Næss formed as the "platform of deep ecology":
  1. The flourishing of human and nonhuman life on earth has inherent value. The value of nonhuman life forms is independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.
  2. Abundance and diversity of life forms are values themselves and contribute to the flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth.
  3. Humans have no right to reduce this abundance and diversity exept to satisfy vital needs.
  4. The flourishing of human life cultures is compatible with substantial decrease in the human population, and the flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.
  5. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is exessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening
  6. Policies must therefore be changed. The change in policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs would be deeply different from the present and would make possible a more joyful experience of the connectedness of all things.
  7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality 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.