WS Killls Thousands of Protected Birds Killed Annually

Excerpts from:

Shot and Gassed: Thousands of Protected Birds Killed Annually

Sunday, 24 May 2015 00:00
Written by 
Rachael Bale and Tom Knudson By Rachael Bale and Tom Knudson, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30956-shot-and-gassed-thousands-of-protected-birds-killed-annually

-Even in the best of times, migratory birds lead perilous lives. Today, with climate change and habitat loss adding to the danger, wildlife advocates say the government-sanctioned killing is a taxpayer-funded threat that the birds should not have to face, one that is hidden from the public and often puts the needs of commerce ahead of conservation.

-The total body count for a recent three-year period came to 1.6 million, including more than 4,600 sandhill cranes. Four populous species – brown-headed cowbirds, red-winged blackbirds, common grackles and Canada geese – accounted for two-thirds of the mortalities.

But many less common birds were killed, too, including 875 upland sandpipers, 479 barn owls, 79 wood ducks, 55 lesser yellowlegs, 46 snowy owls, 12 roseate spoonbills, three curlew sandpipers, two red-throated loons and one western bluebird.

-California, where American coots were killed by the thousands to protect golf courseimagesQB1DEJIT greens and fairways. Usually the birds are shot, but sometimes they’re fed bait laced with a chemical that makes them fall asleep. Then they’re rounded up and killed in portable carbon dioxide chambers in the backs of pickup trucks. In California, some robins also were killed to protect vineyards.

No. 3 was Arkansas, where more than 22,000 double-breasted cormorants and thousands of other fish-eating birds were killed at fish hatcheries and aquaculture facilities.

Most of the killing is carried out without public notice. Even many conservationists are unaware of it. But those who are familiar with the permit program mostly don’t like it. They say that nonlethal options – such as scaring birds away or making the landscape less bird-friendly – are not given enough consideration and that lethal action is too often the default option.

“Nonlethal methods should always be given preference in these kinds of situations,” said Mike Daulton, vice president of government relations for the National Audubon Society, one of the nation’s oldest and most powerful conservation organizations. “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is one of America’s most important wildlife conservation laws, and it should be strongly and reasonably enforced to maintain healthy wild populations of America’s native birds.”

Allen at the Fish and Wildlife Service said allowing the killing of nuisance birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act isn’t antithetical to the service’s mission of conserving wildlife populations.

See the data: Birds killed under depredation permits in the United States

Birds and humans have clashed for generations, of course. That’s why farmers put out scarecrows. But as cities and agriculture have grown, the scope of the conflicts has expanded. Today, even green industries sometimes kill birds. The government estimates that wind farms will take the lives of 1 million birds every year by 2030. To make that legal, the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a new permit system for the “incidental” killing of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

That act, a cornerstone of U.S. conservation history, grew out of an era of excess and slaughter at the turn of the 20th century. Many of North America’s migratory birds were being decimated, not for food but for feathers and other body parts that were used to make ladies’ hats, which had become signs of luxury and sophistication. In 1916, the United States and Great Britain, on behalf of Canada, signed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It became illegal to kill or capture migratory birds, as well as to buy or sell them.

The U.S. government, however, later made an exception. If a migratory bird is causing economic damage (such as destroying crops), posing a risk to humans (airports) or doing some other type of damage, a landowner can ask the Fish and Wildlife Service to approve the “lethal take,” or killing, of the problem birds.

For generations, Wildlife Services has long specialized in killing wildlife – including migratory birds – that are considered a threat to agriculture, commerce and the public. In recent years, the agency’s practices have drawn volleys of criticism from wildlife advocates and some members of Congress, who say they are scientifically unsound, heavy-handed and inhumane.

The agency relies on traps, snares and poison that kill indiscriminately. In 2012, the Sacramento Bee reported that Wildlife Services had killed more than 50,000 animals by mistake since 2000, including federally protected bald and golden eagles; more than 1,100 dogs, including family pets; and several species considered rare or imperiled. The investigation also noted that a growing body of science has found the agency’s killing of predators “is altering ecosystems in ways that diminish biodiversity, degrade habitat and invite disease.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Inspector General now is conducting an audit to determine if the agency’s lethal control is justified and effective.

“Wildlife Services depends on killing predators and depredating migratory birds for its existence. When that’s what you do for a living, you tend to encourage people to adopt that solution,” said Daniel Rohlf, an environmental lawyer and professor at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon.

When landowners do get a permit to kill birds, Wildlife Services often is contracted to do the work. That contributes to a tendency to look to lethal control, rather than find more creative, nonlethal solutions, Rohlf said.

More: http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/30956-shot-and-gassed-thousands-of-protected-birds-killed-annually

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

Speak for Wolves: August 7-9, 2015

August 7-9, 2015
West Yellowstone, Montana

An opportunity for the American people to unite and demand wildlife management reform and restore our national heritage.
 film by Predator Defense – a national nonprofit helping people & wildlife coexist since 1990.
Approximately 3500 gray wolves have been slaughtered in the northern Rockies and Great Lakes region in the United States over the last few years. Under state management, wolves have been hounded, baited, trapped, snared and/or killed by hunters in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Wolves have been aerial gunned in Washington and, most recently, shot in Utah.Speak for Wolves: Yellowstone 2015 is about taking an important step towards stopping the wolf slaughter that is currently taking place across the United States. Learn more

Victory! Another Major Airline Bans Hunting Trophies

by  May 19, 2015

http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-another-major-airline-bans-hunting-trophies.html#ixzz3b4fUmKGx

Victory! Another Major Airline Bans Hunting Trophies
In more good news for wildlife, things just got a even harder for sport hunters looking for a way to transport their trophies home.

Emirates Airlines, the world’s largest international airline, just announced that hunting trophies will no longer be allowed and that the change would be effective immediately.

In a statement, the airline said the ban will be applied to all trophies, whether or not they’re from species protected by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and it will include trophies from species that aren’t currently threatened with extinction.

It further said, “This decision is to support international governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, that are managing wildlife population towards sustaining the task to eliminate illegal trade and transportation of hunting trophies worldwide and saving wildlife heritage.”

The announcement comes just weeks after South American Airlines (SAA) announced it would no longer transport trophies from rhinos, elephants, lions and tigers in an effort to protect wildlife being targeted by sport hunters and the illegal wildlife trade.

Tim Clyde-Smith, a representative for SAA, told the media that at the time that, “The vast majority of tourists visit Africa in particular to witness the wonderful wildlife that remains. We consider it our duty to work to ensure this is preserved for future generations and that we deter activity that puts this wonderful resource in danger.”

Despite conservation efforts, Africa’s iconic wildlife continues to be targeted at an alarming rate by poaching and sport hunting that has put the future survival of a number of species in jeopardy.

Now it won’t matter whether or not hunters have the required permits, since they’re not getting their trophies on flights from either of these airlines. Not only does this send a message that sport hunting isn’t supporting conservation, but it will make it harder for anyone trying to move illegal items by claiming they’re from legal hunts.

Conservationists are cheering the latest change in policy from Emirates Airlines and hope other companies will follow the ethical lead these two airlines have set.

“This is a bold move by the world’s biggest international carrier,” said Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, Middle East Regional Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare. “Emirates have taken an important and responsible step in showing they are serious about wildlife conservation. We value their decision and look forward to other national airlines in the Gulf region to follow their lead.”

Delta Airlines, which TakePart previously reported is the only carrier based in the U.S. with direct flights to South Africa, is also being pushed to make a similar change in policy, but so far the airline hasn’t budged.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/victory-another-major-airline-bans-hunting-trophies.html#ixzz3b4e0J9Z5

Paul Ehrlich Was Right After All

world-population-through-history-to-2025

Looking back through some old copies of the National Wildlife Magazine, I came across an article from April/May, 1990, by John Nielsen entitled, “Whatever Happened to the Population Bomb? Two decades after Paul Ehrlich’s doomsday predictions, the biologist answers his critics with a new book.” The article came out at the time of Ehrlich’s then new book, Population Explosion, 22 years after his best-selling book (more than 20 million copies), Population Bomb. Ehrlich told National Wildlife, “What we were seeing on a global scale, was the rise to total dominance of a single species, man. This phenomenon was absolutely new and it threatened to wreck the planet.”

The article states, What about the population bomb? What happened to the notion that exponential population growth is the cause of almost all environmental woes? If to Ehrlich his 1968 message was clear, to his more extreme critics it has proved inaccurate and wrong-headed.

Like other ‘doomsayers,’ economist Julian Simon says, ‘Ehrlich underestimates the human ability to respond to change.’

But what about the rest of nature’s ability to respond to change wrought by humans?

Other critics point to Ehrlich’s erroneous predictions of traffic riots in Los Angeles, cataclysmic famines and dead oceans…

We may not be hearing a lot about traffic riots in LA—aside from road rage and regular drive-by shootings, but over-exploited fisheries and massive dead zones are cropping up in oceans across the globe.

Meanwhile, Right- to-Life activists attack him for favoring abortion. His notions of coercive population control in countries such as India and China have been called inhuman.

The problem with these charges, he says, is that they miss the point. Ehrlich admits that some of the scenarios that he made did not unfold [yet]. But he maintains, scenarios are not predictions and being out of date is not the same as being wrong.

Though a new environmental awareness is sweeping the United States [again, this was 1990], population control doesn’t seem to be generating as much concern in the press…The very notion, charges Ehrlich, is becoming ‘taboo’. “Politically, the pressure has been on to stay away from this issue,” he says.

“Each hour,” Ehrlich writes, “there are 11,000 more mouths to feed.”

Nowadays that number is roughly 16,000 per hour. (But of course that’s not taking into account people’s ability to respond to change.)

About his then new book, The Population Explosion, Ehrlich concedes that readers might ignore him this time around. They do so, he says, at the peril of their children’s world. Either way, this will be the last written warning.

“About the only thing I can guarantee is that this will be the last book on population by Paul Ehrlich,” he says. “You can only spend so much time alerting people to a problem. After that, they do their own thing.”

Texas Cattle Rancher Becomes Vegan

May 21, 2015, 1:38 PM ET

Woman spends night chained to Shell ship

By Associated Press Published: May 23, 2015

BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) – The Coast Guard says it has no plans to remove a woman who has chained herself to the Arctic Challenger, a support ship for Royal Dutch Shell’s exploratory oil drilling plans.

The activist attached herself to the ship anchored in Bellingham Bay, north of Seattle, on Friday evening.

The Coast Guard cutter Osprey spent the night monitoring the protester but took no action, Petty Officer 3rd Class Katelyn Shearer said Saturday morning. “We’re really most concerned for her safety and the safety of everyone involved,” Shearer said.

Authorities spoke with the woman and asked her to remove herself. “There’s no plans right now to do anything further,” Shearer said.

The ship isn’t scheduled to leave the port for several days.

Rob Lewis, a spokesman for the Bellingham activists, identified the woman who has suspended herself in a climbing harness from the anchor chain of the Arctic Challenger as Chiara Rose.

Lewis said she is protesting Shell’s plan for arctic drilling. He described the Arctic Challenger as a savior vessel that is used in the case of an oil leak, but said activists doubt its effectiveness at preventing environmental disasters like the Deepwater Horizon explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

He confirmed that the Coast Guard was not interfering with Rose, but they had impounded … More:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Woman-chains-herself-to-Shell-ship-in-Bellingham-Bay-overnight-304814081.html

Corey Knowlton? Yup, I Hate Him Too

Exposing the Big Game:

The idea that hunting saves African wildlife doesn’t withstand scrutiny

Zambia has lifted a ban on hunting lions and leopards and said the move will help protect wildlife, as a US hunter killed a black rhino in Namibia in what he called a victory for conservation. But experts have serious doubts about the claims
http://news360.com/article/293613760/#

Originally posted on Exposing the Big Game:

Corey Knowlton is the hunter who won the right to kill an endangered rhino in the Safari Club auction. This is part of trophy room (Big Horn Sheep section – Knowlton claims that he has hunted “over 120 species on every continent” – obviously many animals per species)…

1613918_577895065613412_412557772_n

…and this is what Grumpy Cat has to say about him:

1017393_10202261526713538_1876940690_n

View original

Young barred owls leaving nest in the USA

Originally posted on Dear Kitty. Some blog:

This is a video series about the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl nest cam in the USA.

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

May 22, 2015

It’s almost time!

The young Barred Owls are nearing the moment when they will begin to explore the world outside their nest box. Rather than fledging right away, most owls go through a process called “branching,” where they spend days or even weeks clambering around the branches near the nest, making short flights, and completing their development.

The largest owlet featured on the Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam has already been perching at the entrance to the box (watch highlight). We’re also excited that a new camera positioned outside the box enables you to see the transition from within the box to the green forest beyond (click on “View 2nd Camera Angle” below the video screen). Be…

View original 89 more words

Principles of Deep Ecology

Deep ecology is a contemporary ecological and environmental philosophy characterized by its advocacy of the inherent worth of living beings regardless of their instrumental utility to human needs, and advocacy for a radical restructuring of modern human societies in accordance with such ideas. Deep ecology argues that the natural world is a subtle balance of complex inter-relationships in which the existence of organisms is dependent on the existence of others within ecosystems.[1] Human interference with or destruction of the natural world poses a threat therefore not only to humans but to all organisms constituting the natural order.

Deep ecology’s core principle is the belief that the living environment as a whole should be respected and regarded as having certain inalienable legal rights to live and flourish, independent of its utilitarian instrumental benefits for human use. It describes itself as “deep” because it regards itself as looking more deeply into the actual reality of humanity’s relationship with the natural world arriving at philosophically more profound conclusions than that of the prevailing view of ecology as a branch of biology. The movement does not subscribe to anthropocentric environmentalism (which is concerned with conservation of the environment only for exploitation by and for human purposes) since deep ecology is grounded in a quite different set of philosophical assumptions. Deep ecology takes a more holistic view of the world human beings live in and seeks to apply to life the understanding that the separate parts of the ecosystem (including humans) function as a whole. This philosophy provides a foundation for the environmental, ecology and green movements and has fostered a new system of environmental ethics advocating wilderness preservation, human population control and simple living.[2]

Principles[edit]

Proponents of deep ecology believe that the world does not exist as a resource to be freely exploited by humans. The ethics of deep ecology hold that the survival of any part is dependent upon the well-being of the whole. Proponents of deep ecology offer an eight-tier platform to elucidate their claims:[3]

  1. The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: intrinsic value, inherent value). These values are independent of the usefulness of the nonhuman world for human purposes.
  2. Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.
  3. Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital human needs.
  4. The flourishing of human life and cultures is compatible with a substantial decrease of the human population. The flourishing of nonhuman life requires such a decrease.
  5. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.
  6. Policies must therefore be changed. These policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.
  7. The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.
  8. Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.

These principles can be refined down into three simple propositions:

  1. Wilderness preservation;
  2. Human population control;
  3. Simple living (or treading lightly on the planet).[2]

Development[edit]

The phrase “deep ecology” was coined by the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss in 1973.[4] Næss rejected the idea that beings can be ranked according to their relative value. For example, judgments on whether an animal has an eternal soul, whether it uses reason or whether it has consciousness (or indeed higher consciousness) have all been used to justify the ranking of the human animal as superior to other animals. Næss states that from an ecological point of view “the right of all forms [of life] to live is a universal right which cannot be quantified. No single species of living being has more of this particular right to live and unfold than any other species.”

This metaphysical idea is elucidated in Warwick Fox‘s claim that humanity and all other beings are “aspects of a single unfolding reality”.[5] As such Deep Ecology would support the view of Aldo Leopold in his book A Sand County Almanac that humans are “plain members of the biotic community”. They also would support Leopold’s “Land Ethic“: “a thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Daniel Quinn in Ishmael showed that an anthropocentric myth underlies our current view of the world.[6]

Deep ecology offers a philosophical basis for environmental advocacy which may, in turn, guide human activity against perceived self-destruction. Deep ecology and environmentalism hold that the science of ecology shows that ecosystems can absorb only limited change by humans or other dissonant influences. Further, both hold that the actions of modern civilization threaten global ecological well-being. Ecologists have described change and stability in ecological systems in various ways, including homeostasis, dynamic equilibrium, and “flux of nature”.[7] Regardless of which model is most accurate, environmentalists[citation needed] contend that massive human economic activity has pushed the biosphere far from its “natural” state through reduction of biodiversity, climate change, and other influences. As a consequence, civilization is causing mass extinction, at a rate of between 100 species a day, or possibly 140,000 species per year, a rate that is 10,000 times the background rate of extinction. Deep ecologists hope to influence social and political change through their philosophy. Næss has proposed, as Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke writes, “that the earth’s human population should be reduced to about 100 million.”[8]

Scientific[edit]

Næss and Fox do not claim to use logic or induction to derive the philosophy directly from scientific ecology[9] but rather hold that scientific ecology directly implies the metaphysics of deep ecology, including its ideas about the self and further, that deep ecology finds scientific underpinnings in the fields of ecology and system dynamics.

In their 1985 book Deep Ecology,[10] Bill Devall and George Sessions describe a series of sources of deep ecology. They include the science of ecology itself, and cite its major contribution as the rediscovery in a modern context that “everything is connected to everything else.” They point out that some ecologists and natural historians, in addition to their scientific viewpoint, have developed a deep ecological consciousness—for some a political consciousness and at times a spiritual consciousness. This is a perspective beyond the strictly human viewpoint, beyond anthropocentrism. Among the scientists they mention specifically are Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Livingston, Paul R. Ehrlich and Barry Commoner, together with Frank Fraser Darling, Charles Sutherland Elton, Eugene Odum and Paul Sears.

A further scientific source for deep ecology adduced by Devall and Sessions is the “new physics”, which they describe as shattering Descartes‘s and Newton‘s vision of the universe as a machine explainable in terms of simple linear cause and effect. They propose that Nature is in a state of constant flux and reject the idea of observers as existing independent of their environment. They refer to Fritjof Capra‘s The Tao of Physics and The Turning Point for their characterisation of how the new physics leads to metaphysical and ecological views of interrelatedness, which, according to Capra, should make deep ecology a framework for future human societies. Devall and Sessions also credit the American poet and social critic Gary Snyder—with his devotion to Buddhism, Native American studies, the outdoors, and alternative social movements—as a major voice of wisdom in the evolution of their ideas.

The Gaia hypothesis was also an influence on the development of deep ecology.

Spiritual[edit]

The central spiritual tenet of deep ecology is that the human species is a part of the Earth, not separate from it, and as such human existence is dependent on the diverse organisms within the natural world each playing a role in the natural economy of the biosphere. Coming to an awareness of this reality involves a transformation of an outlook that presupposes humanity’s superiority over the natural world. This self-realisation or “re-earthing”[11] is used for an individual to intuitively gain an ecocentric perspective. The notion is based on the idea that the more we expand the self to identify with “others” (people, animals, ecosystems), the more we realize ourselves. Transpersonal psychology has been used by Warwick Fox to support this idea. Deep ecology has influenced the development of contemporary Ecospirituality.[12]

A number of spiritual and philosophical traditions including Native American, Buddhist and Jain are drawn upon in a continuing critique of the philosophical assumptions of the modern European mind which has enabled and led to what is seen as an increasingly unsustainable level of disregard to towards the rights and needs of the natural world and its ability to continue to support human life. In relation to the Judeo-Christian tradition, Næss offers the following criticism: “The arrogance of stewardship [as found in the Bible] consists in the idea of superiority which underlies the thought that we exist to watch over nature like a highly respected middleman between the Creator and Creation.”[13] This theme had been expounded in Lynn Townsend White, Jr.‘s 1967 article “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”,[14] in which however he also offered as an alternative Christian view of man’s relation to nature that of Saint Francis of Assisi, who he says spoke for the equality of all creatures, in place of the idea of man’s domination over creation. Næss’ further criticizes the reformation’s view of creation as property to be put into maximum productive use: a view used frequently in the past to exploit and dispossess native populations. Many Protestant sects today regard the Bible’s call for man to have stewardship of the earth as a call for the care for creation, rather than for exploitation.

The original Christian teachings on property support the Franciscan/stewardship interpretation of the Bible. Against this view, Martin Luther condemned church ownership of lands because “they did not want to use that property in an economically productive fashion. At best they used it to produce prayers. Luther, and other Reformation leaders insisted that it should be used, not to relieve men from the necessity of working, but as a tool for making more goods. The attitude of the Reformation was practically, “not prayers, but production.” And production, not for consumption, but for more production.” This justification was offered to support secular takings of church endowments and properties.[15]

Philosophical roots[edit]

Spinoza[edit]

Arne Næss, who first wrote about the idea of deep ecology, from the early days of developing this outlook conceived Baruch Spinoza as a philosophical source.[16]

Others have followed Naess’ inquiry, including Eccy de Jonge, in Spinoza and Deep Ecology: Challenging Traditional Approaches to Environmentalism,[17] and Brenden MacDonald, in Spinoza, Deep Ecology, and Human Diversity—Realization of Eco-Literacies[citation needed].

One of the topical centres of inquiry connecting Spinoza to Deep Ecology is “self-realization.” See Arne Næss in The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology movement and Spinoza and the Deep Ecology Movement for discussion on the role of Spinoza’s conception of self-realization and its link to deep ecology.

Criticism and debate[edit]

Knowledge of non-human interests[edit]

Animal rights activists state that for an entity to require rights and protection intrinsically, it must have interests.[18] Deep ecology is criticised for assuming that living things such as plants, for example, have their own interests as they are manifested by the plant’s behavior—for instance, self-preservation being considered an expression of a will to live. Deep ecologists claim to identify with non-human nature, and in doing so, deny those who claim that non-human (or non-sentient) lifeforms’ needs or interests are nonexistent or unknowable. The criticism is that the interests that a deep ecologist attributes to non-human organisms such as survival, reproduction, growth, and prosperity are really human interests. This is sometimes construed as a pathetic fallacy or anthropomorphism, in which “the earth is endowed with ‘wisdom’, wilderness equates with ‘freedom’, and life forms are said to emit ‘moral’ qualities.”[19][20]

“Deepness”[edit]

Deep ecology is criticised for its claim to being deeper than alternative theories, which by implication are shallow. When Arne Næss coined the term deep ecology, he compared it favourably with shallow environmentalism which he criticized for its utilitarian and anthropocentric attitude to nature and for its materialist and consumer-oriented outlook.[21] Against this is Arne Næss‘s own view that the “depth” of deep ecology resides in the persistence of its penetrative questioning, particularly in asking “Why?” when faced with initial answers.

Writer William D. Grey believes that developing a non-anthropocentric set of values is “a hopeless quest”. He seeks an improved “shallow” view, writing, “What’s wrong with shallow views is not their concern about the well-being of humans, but that they do not really consider enough in what that well-being consists. We need to develop an enriched, fortified anthropocentric notion of human interest to replace the dominant short-term, sectional and self-regarding conception.”[22]

Bookchin’s criticisms[edit]

Some critics, particularly social ecologist Murray Bookchin, have interpreted deep ecology as being hateful toward humanity, due in part to the characterization of humanity by some deep ecologists, such as David Foreman of Earth First!, as a pathological infestation on the Earth.[8] Bookchin[23][24] therefore asserts that “deep ecology, formulated largely by privileged male white academics, has managed to bring sincere naturalists like Paul Shepard into the same company as patently antihumanist and macho mountain men like David Foreman who preach a gospel that humanity is some kind of cancer in the world of life.”[23] Bookchin mentions that some, like Foreman, defend seemingly anti-human measures, such as severe population control and the claim regarding the Third World that “the best thing would be to just let nature seek its own balance, to let the people there just starve”.[23] However, Bookchin himself later admitted that “statements made by Earth First! activists are not to be confused with those made by deep ecology theorists.”[25] Ecophilosopher Warwick Fox similarly “warns critics not to commit the fallacy of ‘misplaced misanthropy.’ That is, just because deep ecology criticizes an arrogant anthropocentrism does not mean that deep ecology is misanthropic.”[25] Likewise, The Deep Ecology Movement: An Introductory Anthology attempts to clarify that “deep ecologists have been the strongest critics of anthropocentrism, so much so that they have often been accused of a mean-spirited misanthropy”; however, “deep ecology is actually vitally concerned with humans realizing their best potential” and “is explicit in offering a vision of an alternative way of living that is joyous and enlivening.”[26]

Murray Bookchin’s second major criticism is that deep ecology fails to link environmental crises with authoritarianism and hierarchy. Social ecologists like him believe that environmental problems are firmly rooted in the manner of human social interaction, and suggest that deep ecologists fail to recognise the potential for human beings to solve environmental issues through a change of cultural attitudes. According to Bookchin, it is a social reconstruction alone that “can spare the biosphere from virtual destruction.”[23] Though some deep ecologists may reject the argument that ecological behavior is rooted in the social paradigm (which, according to their view, would be an anthropocentric fallacy), others in fact embrace this argument, such as the adherents to the deep ecologist movement Deep Green Resistance.

Botkin’s criticism[edit]

Daniel Botkin[27] has likened deep ecology to its antithesis, the wise use movement, when he says that they both “misunderstand scientific information and then arrive at conclusions based on their misunderstanding, which are in turn used as justification for their ideologies. Both begin with an ideology and are political and social in focus.” Elsewhere, though, he asserts that deep ecology must be taken seriously in the debate about the relationship between humans and nature because it challenges the fundamental assumptions of Western philosophy. Botkin has also criticized Næss’s restatement and reliance upon the balance of nature idea and the perceived contradiction between his argument that all species are morally equal and his disparaging description of pioneering species.

Ecofeminist response[edit]

Both ecofeminism and deep ecology put forward a new conceptualization of the self. Some ecofeminists, such as Marti Kheel,[28] argue that self-realization and identification with all nature places too much emphasis on the whole, at the expense of the independent being. Similarly, some ecofeminists place more emphasis on the problem of androcentrism rather than anthropocentrism. To others, like Karen J. Warren, the domination of women is tethered conceptually and historically to the domination of nature. Ecofeminism denies abstract individualism and embraces the interconnectedness of the living world; relationships, including our relationship with non-human nature, are not extrinsic to our identity and are essential in defining what it means to be human. Warren argues that hierarchical classifications in general, such as racism or speciesism, are all forms of discrimination and are no different from sexism. Thus, anthropocentrism is simply another form of discrimination as a result of our flawed value structure and should be abolished.[29]

Links with other philosophies[edit]

Parallels have been drawn between deep ecology and other philosophies, in particular those of the animal rights movement, Earth First!, Deep Green Resistance, and anarcho-primitivism.

Peter Singer‘s 1975 book Animal Liberation critiqued anthropocentrism and put the case for animals to be given moral consideration. This can be seen as a part of a process of expanding the prevailing system of ethics to wider groupings. However, Singer has disagreed with deep ecology’s belief in the intrinsic value of nature separate from questions of suffering, taking a more utilitarian stance.[30] The feminist and civil rights movements also brought about expansion of the ethical system for their particular domains. Likewise deep ecology brought the whole of nature under moral consideration.[31] The links with animal rights are perhaps the strongest, as “proponents of such ideas argue that ‘All life has intrinsic value'”.[32]

Many in the radical environmental direct-action movement Earth First! claim to follow deep ecology, as indicated by one of their slogans No compromise in defence of mother earth. In particular, David Foreman, the co-founder of the movement, has also been a strong advocate for deep ecology, and engaged in a public debate with Murray Bookchin on the subject.[33][34] Judi Bari was another prominent Earth Firster who espoused deep ecology. Many Earth First! actions have a distinct deep ecological theme; often these actions will be to save an area of old growth forest, the habitat of a snail or an owl, even individual trees. Actions are often symbolic or have other political aims. At one point Arne Næss also engaged in environmental direct action, though not under the Earth First! banner, when he chained himself to rocks in front of Mardalsfossen, a waterfall in a Norwegian fjord, in a successful protest against the building of a dam.[35]

There are also anarchist currents in the movement, especially in the United Kingdom. For example Robert Hart, pioneer of forest gardening in temperate climates, wrote the essay “Can Life Survive?” in Deep Ecology & Anarchism.[36]

Robert Greenway and Theodore Roszak have employed the deep ecology platform as a means to argue for ecopsychology.[citation needed] Although ecopsychology is a highly differentiated umbrella that encompasses many practices and perspectives, its ethos is generally consistent with deep ecology.[citation needed] As this now almost forty-year-old “field” expands and continues to be reinterpreted by a variety of practitioners, social and natural scientists, and humanists, “ecopsychology” may change to include these novel perspectives.

Heidegger’s critique of technology has certainly inspired environmentalist and postmodernist of our time. Deep ecologists, like Heidegger, allege that certain metaphysical presuppositions are responsible for ecological destruction, and also contend that any transformation can be brought about only through a renewed awareness about the world. Then the key to environmental crisis, require an ontological shift: from an anthropocentric and utilitarian understanding of world to an understanding which lets things be. A non-anthropocentric humanity would probably initiate attitudes, practices, and institutions that would exhibit respect and care for all beings.

Early influences[edit]

Notable advocates of deep ecology[edit]

Relevant journals[edit]