Politics in Minutes (2016)

Deep ecology

Norwegian philosopher, Arne Naess, was the first to use the term ‘deep ecology’ in 1973, although environmentalists and conservationists were already thinking along these lines. It implies the need to examine ecology at a very deep level and determine the long-term consequences of human impact on the world. Politically, deep ecology also links with and informs other movements, such as animal rights and Earth First. Deep ecology is effectively the ecological and environmental philosophy underpinning Green politics. It places value on all living beings, irrespective of their worth to humans, and advocates a radical restructuring of contemporary human societies. For adherents, Earth is not human-centric but rather consists of complex interrelationships or ecosystems, within which each organism relies on the others – a view with echoes of James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis, which postulated that the Earth is a living organism. Human interference with any part of an ecosystem, such as deforestation, damages the natural balance, posing a threat to all living things.