Resources related with Deep Ecology



Cathedral Peak, Yosemite © Suzanne Duarte

Readings on Deep Ecology:


The Deep Ecology Platform by Arne Naess & George Sessions


Beyond Anthropocentrism by John Seed


What is Deep Ecology? by Stephan Harding


Deep Ecology Movement by Alan Drengson


What is Deep Ecology? by Chris Johnstone


The Ecological Self by Joanna Macy and Arne Naess


The Ecological Self by John Seed


The Council Of All Beings by Joanna Macy


The Council of All Beings by John Seed


Self-Realization: an Ecological Approach to Being in the World by Arne Naess


The Ecozoic Era  by Thomas Berry  - The Ecozoic is the period when human conduct will be guided by the ideal of an integral earth community, a period when humans will be present upon the Earth in a mutually enhancing manner. The first principle of the Ecozoic era is recognizing that the Universe is primarily a communion of subjects, not a collection of objects. This is especially true of the planet Earth. Every being has its own place and its own proper role in the functioning of the planet, its own presentation of itself that might be identified as its voice.  Our difficulty is that we have become autistic. We no longer listen to what the earth, its landscape, its atmospheric phenomena and all its living forms, its mountains and valleys, the rain, the wind, and all the flora and fauna of the planet are telling us.


Writers and the War Against Nature  by Gary Snyder  11/07  - As we learned over time to positively work for peace to head off the possibilities of war, so now we must work for sustainable biological practices and a faith that includes wild nature if we are to reverse the prospect of continually dwindling resources and rising human populations.  One can ask what might it take to have an agriculture that does not degrade the soils, a fishery that does not deplete the ocean, a forestry that keeps watersheds and ecosystems intact, population policies that respect human sexuality and personality while holding numbers down, and energy policies that do not set off fierce little wars. These are the key questions. The ethical position that would accord intrinsic value to non-human nature, and would see human beings as involved in moral as well as practical choices in regard to the natural world, makes all the difference.


Depth Ecology by David Abram 2005 - Deep ecology seemed to imply that we were situated in the depths of the earthly ecology. It was this tacit implication of our thorough inherence in the biosphere, this intuition of depth, that united all of us who were drawn, from various directions, to the phrase "deep ecology."  We all sensed the need for a way of speaking, and thinking, that did not tear us out of our felt immersion in, and consanguinity with, the animate earth.


Waking Our Animal Senses: Language and the Ecology of Sensory Experience by David Abram - If we continue to speak of other animals as less mysterious than ourselves, if we speak of the forests as insentient systems, and of rivers and winds as basically passive elements, then we deny our direct, visceral experience of those forces. And so we close down our senses, and come to live more and more in our heads. We seal our intelligence in on itself, and begin look out at the world only as spectators — never as participants.


From Gaia Theory to Deep Ecology by Stephan Harding - To understand Gaia, we must let go of the mechanistic, compartmentalising conditioning imposed on us since childhood by our society. From an early age nearly all Westerners (and especially young scientists) are exposed to the concept that life has come about due to the operation of blind, meaningless laws of physics and chemistry, and that selfishness underpins the behaviour and evolution of all plants and animals. Gaian perception connects us with the seamless nature of existence, and opens up a new approach to scientific research arising from scientists’ personal, deeply subjective ecological experience.


Earth System Science and Gaian Science by Stephan Harding - Earth System science and Gaian science can be distinguished from each other by the former’s lack of concern with value questions, and by the latter’s concern with bringing intuitions of the intrinsic value of nature right into the heart of scientific practice. Gaian scientists, recognising that science cannot and should not be separated from moral, political and economic concerns, seek to deeply question and remould themselves and society based on their deep experiences of studying, living in and identifying with Gaia. A guiding principle for them is that human vital needs should be satisfied with as little disruption as possible with Gaian processes at all levels. Gaian science can thus be distinguished from Earth System science by its striving to bring a sound science of the Earth together with ecological wisdom and action.


Diversity, Health and Creativity: Lessons for Living from New Science by Brian Goodwin - The truth of creativity is that it needs to be appropriate to context, to now. This is where we need to cultivate our sensitivities, to feel our way from here to a healthy, whole, healed future by a path that is at present invisible but is revealed as we walk it. This is the path of what is sometimes called ‘right action’. To get to a future in which things are better, the only reliable way to go is by fully tuning in to the present so that the future arrives as an unexpected revelation from engaged action now, not from prediction and planning.


The New Facts of Life: Connecting the Dots on Food, Health, and the Environment  by Fritjof Capra Summer 2008 - A discussion of the interrelations between food, health, and the environment is extremely topical today. Rising food prices together with the price of oil and a series of so-called "natural" catastrophes dominate the news every day. All these problems, ultimately, must be seen as just different facets of one single crisis, which is largely a crisis of perception. It derives from the fact that most people in our society, and especially our political and corporate leaders, subscribe to the concepts of an outdated worldview, a perception of reality inadequate for dealing with our overpopulated, globally interconnected world.


Ecophilosophy, Ecosophy and the Deep Ecology Movement: An Overview  by Alan Drengson 1999 - During the last thirty years philosophers in the West have critiqued the underlying assumptions of Modern philosophy in relation to the natural world. This development has been part of an ongoing expansion of philosophical work involving cross cultural studies of world views or ultimate philosophies. Since philosophical studies in the West have often ignored the natural world, and since most studies in ethics have focused on human values, those approaches which emphasize ecocentric values have been referred to as ecophilosophy. Just as the aim of traditional philosophy is sophia or wisdom, so the aim of ecophilosophy is ecosophy or ecological wisdom. The Practice of ecophilosophy is an ongoing, comprehensive, deep inquiry into values, the nature of the world and the self.


Arne Naess, Norwegian Philosopher, Dies at 96 by William Grimes 1/15/09 - Arne Naess, the ‘father’ of deep ecology, was a Norwegian philosopher whose ideas about promoting an intimate and all-embracing relationship between the earth and the human species inspired environmentalists and Green political activists around the world, died Monday, Jan. 12, 2009. He was 96.


The Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess by Arne Naess (Author); Alan Drengson & Bill Devall (Editors) 6/08 - A founder of the Deep Ecology Movement, Arne Naess produced articles on environmentalism that provided unmatched inspiration for ecologists, philosophers, and activists worldwide. This collection amasses a definitive group of Naess' most important works in which he calls for nonviolent, cooperative action to protect the Earth. Rich with observations, insights, and anecdotes, Naess' writings draw from Eastern religious practices, Gandhian nonviolent direct action, and Spinozan unity systems. Playful and compassionate in tone, Ecology of Wisdom showcases Naess' exceptional enthusiasm, wit, and spiritual fascination with nature, while educating us about the steps we must take to rescue the planet, illuminating the relevance of this important environmental advocate.


Review of The Ecology of Wisdom: Writings by Arne Naess by Barbara Sjoholm Jan./Feb. 2009 - Arne Naess is a Norwegian philosopher, ecologist, peace activist, and mountaineer who is regarded as the father of Deep Ecolgy. This collection of Naess’ writings has been selected and edited by Alan Drengson and Bill Devall, two prominent writers and spokesmen for Deep Ecology. The selections, culled from hundreds of articles and books, are lucid, poetic, and accessible for the general reader as well as targeted for a more philosophically inclined audience. These writings are placed in the context of Naess’s life and larger concerns.


Deep Ecology and Its Social Philosophy: A Critique by Bron Taylor 2000 - In this essay I (1) describe the forms deep ecology assumes as it trickles down from philosophers and shapes much of the grassroots environmental movement in the United States; (2) argue that the Green ideology known as bioregionalism has almost universally been grafted onto deep ecology, becoming its de facto social philosophy; and (3) evaluate the central conceptual claims and bioregional social philosophy that are typically found in grassroots deep ecology.


Val Plumwood’s Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason - A review by Chris Cuomo 11/02 - Plumwood emphasizes the extent to which what passes as rationality is actually highly irrational. At the most fundamental level, our failure to appreciate the fact that the natural world sustains us, and that our flourishing depends upon its flourishing, is a highly irrational response to the world. True rationality therefore calls for socially and ecologically healthy decisions and acknowledges the embodiment of knowers, the contextuality of all knowledge, and the necessity of caring for flourishing.


A Manifesto for Earth by Ted Mosquin and J. Stan Rowe 1/2004 - This Manifesto is Earth-centered. It is precisely ecocentric, meaning home-centered, rather than biocentric, meaning organism-centered. Its aim is to extend and deepen people’s understanding of the primary life-giving and life-sustaining values of Planet Earth, the Ecosphere. The Manifesto consists of six Core Principles that flow from ecological reality, plus five derivative Action Principles outlining humanity’s duties to Earth and to the geographic ecosystems Earth comprises. It is offered as a guide to 21st Century ethical thinking, conduct and social policy.


Deep Ecology Platform: Moving it from Biocentric to Ecocentric by J. Stan Rowe 1996 – A revision of platform principles 1-4, moving their valuation perspective from biocentric to ecocentric.


Finding Our Way Home by Brenda Frick 2004 - In Stan Rowe's illustrious career, he was a respected botanist and ecologist, forestry researcher, Professor of Plant Ecology at the University of Saskatchewan, wilderness advocate, conservationist, deep ecologist, celebrated speaker and author, and one of Canada's strong environmental thinkers. He had a simple, yet powerful vision of earth as our home place. He taught that we are "inside a marvelous Being, enveloped by the Ecosphere. Not only are we in the Earth-envelope, we are parts of it, participants in it, born from it, sustained and reproduced by it."


Stan Rowe: A Canadian Earthling  A review essay by David Orton

6/08 - Those of us on the ecocentric path need to see ourselves as inspired by, and indebted to the work of Arne Naess and acknowledge this openly. The theoretical way forward already exists and it is called deep ecology.


Left  Biocentrism  Primer 3/15/98 - Left biocentrism is a left focus or theoretical tendency within the deep ecology movement, which is subversive of the existing industrial society. It accepts and promotes the eight-point Deep Ecology Platform drawn up by Arne Naess and George Sessions. Left biocentrism holds up as an ideal, identification, solidarity, and compassion with all life. "Left," as used in left biocentrism, means anti-industrial and anti-capitalist, but not necessarily socialist. The expressions 'left biocentrism' or 'left ecocentrism' are used interchangeably. 


Ecofascism: What is It? A Left Biocentric Analysis by David Orton

2/2000 - “Ecofascism” has come to be used mainly as an attack term, with 
social ecology roots, against the deep ecology movement and its supporters plus, more 
generally, the environmental movement. Thus, “ecofascist” and “ecofascism”, are used not 
to enlighten but to smear.


Deep Ecology Perspectives by David Orton Fall 2003 - Deep Ecology supporters identify with the natural world and all its creatures; see this world is being destroyed and want to do something about it; and measure our own human concerns as important although fairly insignificant in comparison.


Deep Ecology and Animals by David Orton 11/13/03 - As deep ecology supporters see it, we share this planet with other life forms, including all animal life, on a basis of equality. There is no hierarchy of life forms where humans are on top of an evolutionary pyramid, free to do whatever they want with the rest of the natural world.


Deep Ecology and Left Biocentrism: An Introduction by Patrick Curry 7/25/08 
- The only sane and hopeful context for human social justice is justice for all life on Earth. But it also follows, however unpalatably for many, that when and where ecological justice conflicts with social justice – as does and will continue to happen – the latter must give way. The recognition of these truths is what makes Left Bio distinctive.


The Left in Left Biocentrism: My Path to Left Biocentrism: Part VIII

by David Orton  9/08 - Left Biocentrism is anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist. However, future types of ecocentric, socially just social arrangements are up for discussion. There are no worked-out social models that can simply be adopted – all is on the table for discussion. Socialism is in many ways an expression of the industrial proletariat, and while its legacy of social justice remains valid and indeed needed for a future ecocentric society, it is not correct, in my view, to say that “ecosocialism” will describe the future post-industrial ecocentric society. The features of such a society are a work in progress for all of us to engage with.


Nine Shades of Green by David Greenfield 4/9/09 - Over the years, in trying to discern the nature of the ecological movement, a number of activists and thinkers have made distinctions between different shades or types of green. Some have distinguished between a light or shallow shade of green and a dark or deep shade of green, while others have distinguished between left and right shades of green. It has become apparent to me that there are several shades of green within the contemporary ecological movement, and that it is important to name these various shades of green to begin to chart the way forward.


Deeper Organic Agriculture by David Orton 2009 - For deep ecology supporters, food production goes hand in hand with the defense of wild nature. Deep ecologists support local food rather than food which is shipped thousand of miles and produced by fossil-fuel based industrial agriculture. I believe there is a "fit" between the ideas of Arne Naess and that part of the organic farming and gardening movement which sees the production of wholesome, regionally-based, non-chemically nourished food, as going hand in hand with the protection of wildlife and wild nature.


Green Roots and Shoots: A History of Ecological Thinking by Sandy Irvine - This history focuses on the emergence of what British political scientist Andrew Dobson has called ‘Ecologism’, though we prefer ‘EcoCentrism’. The kernel of this tradition is the view of people, not as conquerors of nature, but as “plain members and citizens of it”, in the words of the American forester and conservationist Aldo Leopold. Concepts like interdependence, balance and especially limits provide the framework through which we would think about, value and do things. EcoCentrism puts first the Earth and its life-support systems, on which depend all species, not just people. Includes an excellent bibliography of ecocentrism and deep ecology.


The Deeply Green Book Guide by Sandy IrvineThis annotated guide to ecocentric/deep ecological books and authors is introduced by an essay on why the ecocentric perspective is essential for addressing our planetary emergency. It identifies twenty core books with suggestions for follow-up reading, and provides coverage of a range of issues. Together, these works constitute a basic ‘green library’ that sheds much light on what is wrong with the world and how humans might learn to live in greater harmony with each other and the rest of Nature.


Deep Ecology by Keith Parkins (this page contains a seemingly random - though interesting - collection of quotes and notes about deep ecology, and a good bibliography of deep ecology books and articles, by author, that were published until the year 2000.)




Delaney Creek, Yosemite © Suzanne Duarte

Deep Ecology websites and journals


Foundation for Deep Ecology


The Trumpeter Journal of Ecosophy


The Ecologist Online




Resurgence Online


EarthLight Library


Green Web and Left Biocentrism by David Orton



Deep Ecology Resources by John Seed and the Rainforest Information Centre


Joanna Macy on Deep Ecology


Center for Ecoliteracy, Essays The Center for Ecoliteracy offers concise essays presenting the perspectives of leading thinkers, educators, and policy makers. Contributors probe the connections between environmental issues and public policy, the interdependence of human and ecological communities, and education for sustainability. This is a rich resource for essays by a multitude of Dharmagaians on sustainability and community. 


Reconnecting with LifeA web-based course that maps ways into the vitality and determination that enable us to take part in the healing of our world. Developed by many people over the past thirty years, this body of work has helped hundreds of thousands of people find solidarity and the courage to act, despite rapidly worsening social and ecological conditions.


Animate Earth: Science, Intuition, And Gaia by Stephan Harding 2006 - The conception of the Earth as a living, self-organising system, known today as Gaia theory, is an ancient idea and yet one of the most radical and far-reaching scientific theories of the 20th century. Stephan Harding, who has worked closely with James Lovelock, tells the story in a way that is scientifically sophisticated, yet easy to understand and captivating. Harding writes about Gaia with great passion, and eloquently discusses the theory's philosophical, social and political implications.


New Earth Rising - An e-zine committed to biocentric thought and action. Through thoughtful original essays and other creative works based upon both ecological science and intuition, we link what is known regarding the true extent of global ecological crises with specific personal and social transformations necessary to achieve global ecological sustainability. It is grounded in the ethics of biocentrism, deep ecology and political ecology -- and is concerned with equity and justice, as well as global ecological sustainability.


Ecological Sustainability - This website promotes the cause of ecological sustainability. By that, we mean that the conservation of environmental systems, biodiversity and bioregional human cultures must be society’s overriding goal. Ecocentrism — Earth first — not egocentrism must be the watchword.


Navdanya: To protect nature and people's rights to knowledge, biodiversity, water and food - This is the organization of renowned eco-activist Vandana Shiva. Navdanya’s mission is to promote peace and harmony, justice and sustainability. We strive to achieve these goals through the conservation, renewal and rejuvenation of the gifts of biodiversity we have received from nature and our ancestors, and to defend these gifts as commons.


The Alliance for Wild Ethics: Awakening to Wonder – An ecocentric consortium of David Abram and Friends - The Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE) is a consortium of individuals and organizations working to ease the spreading devastation of the animate earth through a rapid transformation of culture. We employ the arts, often in tandem with the natural sciences, to provoke deeply felt shifts in the human experience of nature. Motivated by a love for the more-than-human collective of life, and for human life as an integral part of that wider collective, we work to revitalize local, face-to-face community – and to integrate our communities perceptually, practically, and imaginatively into the earthly bioregions that surround and support them.


Ecospheric EthicsAn anthology of ecological, philosophical, spiritual, economic and cultural articles, editorials and reviews exploring the values of the planetary Ecosphere, its ecosystems, communities and wild species - as the natural and time-tested source of a new and compelling "Earth Ethic" for humanity. Ecocentrism has been described as post-humanism, for it transfers the reality-spotlight from humanity to the Ecosphere, from the part to the whole. This outside-the-human focus brings with it new standards for thought, conduct and action on such seemingly intractable problems as world population, urbanization, globalization, maintenance of cultural diversity, and ethical duties to the Ecosphere with its varied natural ecosystems and their wild species. The ecocentric ethic provides a new basis from which to examine the questions of how we should value the natural Earth and its systems and of how people should live. 


Eco-Ethics International Union Humanity can survive only with a new concept of ethics: eco-ethics. The subject of eco-ethics is not a single species but communities of different, co-existing forms of life.


Center for Earth Jurisprudence - CEJ’s mission is to re-envision law and governance in ways that support and protect the health and well being of the Earth community as a whole. CEJ seeks to develop a philosophy and practice of law that respect the rights of the natural world and recognize humans as an integral member of the Earth community.


Dandelion TimesA Left-Biocentric Online Journal – Ecocentric articles and poetry from around the world.


Animas Valley Institute - The Institute’s mission is to contribute to radical cultural change and global transformation by fostering nature-based personal development and thus the maturation of individuals and the human species. We support each participant to access and embody the world-changing and vital creativity at his or her core.


The Rewilding Institute - Mission: To develop and promote the ideas and strategies to advance continental-scale conservation in North America, particularly the need for large carnivores and a permeable landscape for their movement, and to offer a bold, scientifically-credible, practically achievable, and hopeful vision for the future of wild Nature and human civilization in North America.





The Work That Reconnects by Joanna Macy - Group work, the Great Turning, Deep Ecology, Living Systems, Deep Time work. (Double DVD 2007)


Joanna Macy on The Great Turning (video 5:37 min)


Deep Ecology - Satish Kumar explains the meaning of Deep Ecology (video 2:44 min)


Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life (video 9:45 min)


Earth Spirit Action - Vandana Shiva, Starhawk, Matthew Fox, Ruth Rosenhek and John Seed speak about Deep Ecology, Living Democracy and Revolution in Consciousness in a fast moving discussion of the type of change that needs to take place for a Sustainable Future. This is an inspirational and stimulating film with nature footage and colourful global action shots. (video 16:24 min)


Wild Earth, Wild Mind, Wild Heart - A documentary of Australian deep ecology activist John Seed's 2005 US Roadshow. Features inspirational presentations, workshops, performances, Robinson Jeffers' poetry and the raps "Universe Jam" & "Word to the Mother."


Deep Ecology for the 21st Century – Audio series from New Dimensions Media: 13 one-hour programs for $1.99 each.


Buddhism and the Natural World: Deep Ecology, Deep Dharma by Kamalashila - Audio


Wild Side NewsNature Talk Radio


Severn Suzuki speaking at Earth Summit Rio, 1992A child’s view of ‘losing our future.’




A Day at the Office © Michelle Waters




© 2009 Suzanne Duarte