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Deep Ecology Movements

  • By: Martin J. Haigh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Deep ecology emerges from the intuition that nature and self are one. It is important because it provides the motivation for much of the environmental activism that is conducted in the name of geography and education for sustainable development, and it is the source of most eco-centric (ecosystem-centered) thinking within geography. Deep ecology emerged in the early 1970s from the work of the philosopher Arne Naess. Naess sought to distinguish between environmental thinking that gave the highest priority to human welfare, which he called “shallow ecology” and that which gave priority to the welfare of the whole ecological system, which he called “deep ecology.”

Deep ecology suggests that, even if it were desirable or ethically apt, the human species is incapable of existing in isolation. ...

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