According to Naess there were three great movements for global responsibility that occurred during the twentieth century. These great movements were social justice, environmental movements and peace (“The Three Great Movements”, Naess 2008). These different views became of interest of a great variety of people that held unique religions, nationalities, worldviews and cultures. The three great movements are all connected to one another in one form or another. For example, war and violence are not compatible with environmental responsibility, and destruction and degradation put on the environment do not coincide with social justice. Equality and liberty cannot be justified when there is violence and war and require respect and relationships that are civil through acts of peace. These three movements all require one central principle, social responsibility. During these movements the first to be initiated and recognized was the environmental movement. At first there was shallow and anthropocentric environmentalism, however environmental movements were supported and strengthened through peace movements and social justice (Naess 2008). Growth in the economy and increased consumption of natural resources are still the greatest value in our society and they are put first and before our environment.
I think that the most promising and auspicious form of environmentalism that we have studied and discussed in our philosophy course thus far is the radical deep ecology movement. Deep ecology includes valuing an ecocentric ethic and individual ethic, not just one or the other.
It is often thought that Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring (1962) as the start of the deep ecology movement. In the book Silent Spring she demonstrated how people rely on biotic communities as a whole and that the living beings that are in ecosystems are related to one another. She showed how pesticides affected the relationship between bird populations and mosquitoes. The introduction of pesticides caused the local bird population to decline because it killed all of the mosquitoes. This was a representation of how there are biotic relationships and complex food chains within ecosystems and how delicate and important every aspect of the ecosystem is an important and vital component within it.
Rachel Carson presented the necessity for deep transformations in human practices and the ways that humans live within nature. The current problems and unwillingness to acknowledge and fix these problems other than with subtle and mild actions causes a stand still with fixing of the ever-rising economic growth and increased consumption worldwide. The environment is still on the backburner and the priority of human development is still at the forefront. Currently humans place a little amount of their efforts and/or consideration towards our environments causing the shallow ecology movement. There is a need for deep and radical changes in our values and actions.
The differences between shallow...