What is deep ecology

Currently, there are several approaches that ecology can be dealt with, one of them being deep ecology. This type of approach to ecology can be defined as a holistic approach to ecology , in which human beings are considered to be part of nature.

The types of approaches to ecology

Currently, there are mainly two approaches that are given to ecology :

  • Scientific ecology: this is the science that studies the relationships between species and their environment, the environment. It is a more scientific and objective approach, done by experts who have a deep understanding of the subject.
  • Deep ecology: it is an approach that considers the human being as part of the earth that inhabits and that therefore has a duty to take care of it. In this way, the human being is a participant in nature and feels connected to it. Unlike the previous approach, which is reserved for experts, according to this conception of ecology, we are all participants in nature and we can do something for it.

The concept of deep ecology was born, thanks to the Norwegian philosopher and activist Arne Naess , in the early seventies and has its origins in the need to put aside the superficial way of treating the social and ecological problems that we live, to focus on observing how we live, asking ourselves how to “live a better life for myself, for others and for our planet Earth.”

Deep ecology establishes a link between feeling, thought, spirituality and action. Trying to go from the individualism that dominates our Western culture to a thought that sees ourselves as an integral part of the planet, which allows us a much deeper connection with life and nature , where ecology goes from being something that is “out there” to something of which we are a part.

The term deep ecology can also be considered a way of questioning the foundations of today’s society of industrial growth, giving us a new conception of science, politics, health care or education.

The 8 principles of deep ecology

Deep ecology is based on several aspects considered main and basic. These are the 8 principles of deep ecology :

  1. The birth and well-being of life, both human and non-human, have a value in and of itself and not based on how useful it is to “meet the objectives” of our society.
  2. The wealth that biodiversity provides to the planet is a value in itself.
  3. The birth of new forms, both human and non-human, have their origin in a smaller population.
  4. Human beings do not have the right to take advantage of this wealth and biodiversity, except to satisfy strictly vital needs.
  5. Today’s society interferes excessively with nature and it is getting worse and worse, so it is very necessary to reduce it.
  6. Policies must be radically changed, both economically, technologically and ideologically. The change must be drastic to arrive in time to save the planet.
  7. The ideological change will be directed towards appreciating the quality of life for the value it has.
  8. All individuals who subscribe to these principles must carry out the necessary changes.

Comparison between deep and scientific ecology

A series of basic differences can be established between deep ecology and scientific ecology , which is more superficial:

  • Superficial ecology seeks purely technical solutions, while deep ecology explores technical and political solutions, seeking social justice and an ecological ethic.
  • Superficial ecology does not question the Status quo of current society, that is, it does not question the current model of life dominant in industrial society, while deep ecology considers that the problem is not only environmental but also cultural, due to excessive individualism of today’s society.
  • The superficial ecology is based on the principle of biological exclusion and competition between species, while the deep one considers the principle of biological collaboration.
  • The superficial ecology emphasizes the struggle for survival of the species and the survival of the fittest, while the deep one emphasizes the capacities to coexist and cooperate.
  • The superficial ecology promotes master-slave relationships, while the deep one promotes respectful relationships.

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