Putting Marx in his place: Why we need a change in spirit as much as a change in economics


Working toward a shift in consciousness is not sufficient by itself. But likewise, neither do I believe that changing our economic system will be sufficient by itself. A socialist economic system can be destructive to the ecosystem too, if there is not a corresponding change in consciousness. We must work toward change at all of these levels simultaneously. [Read more...]

We are the Earth … aren’t we? (The power of the preposition)


The purpose of the Pagan Community Statement on the Environment is not to create some kind of Pagan Creed, but to make a statement about what being Pagan means for our relationship to the Earth and to offer our unique perspective on the causes of the environmental disaster we are facing. Which phrasing better accomplishes that purpose? “We are the Earth, the Earth is us.” OR “We are of the Earth, and the Earth is part of us.”? [Read more...]

We Are (Not) Special: Anthropocentrism and the Evolving Universe


One of the insights of deep ecology is that we humans are members of a vast more-than-human community. Deep ecology calls us to a new humility in the face of this fact, challenging us to abandon our anthropocentric perspective. [Read more...]

Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: The Gaia Theory: Reuniting our bodies and nature

The Gaia Theory calls into question many deeply ingrained scientific and cultural assumptions and challenges us to perceive our world in a new way. The Gaia Theory also illustrates how we are radically interconnected with all other livings beings on the planet, human and other, as well as with the non-living elements of the Earth. We humans carry on our lives seemingly independently of Gaia, but yet we exist within a larger living entity on which we depend for our lives. [Read more...]

The Deep Ecology Tree: What is Deep Ecology?

In 1972, Arne Naess coined the term “deep ecology” to contrast with “shallow” environmentalism. At the core of deep ecology is the idea that nature is sacred, meaning it has intrinsic value apart from its usefulness to human beings. The destruction of the environment is thus perceived as a desecration (literally a de-sacred-ing). In contrast, “shallow” environmentalism is concerned only with the effects of environmental devastation on human beings. Shallow environmentalism seeks to remedy the symptoms of ecological collapse without the transformation, or even the consciousness, of the “deep-seeded” cultural assumptions that gave rise to the collapse. [Read more...]

Roots of the Deep Ecology Tree: Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like a Mountain”

“The land is one organism. … The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio,” wrote Aldo Leopold, “but rather the complexity of the land organism.” [Read more...]