Deep Ecology

The Dominant Worldview                                      

Power and control over the natural world are justified.               

The environment is a resource for humans to exploit with impunity. 

Material and economic growth is good for expanding the human population.                                                     

Resources are abundant enough to support human activities indefinitely.

Technology is a sign of progress and can solve all human difficulties.

Consumerism is an important aspect of a viable economy.                          

Habitation of the planet will be politically organized and centralized.

Deep Ecology Worldview

Humans will have a harmonious relationship with nature.

The natural world has intrinsic worth and bio-species equality is recognized.

Material needs will be simple with the primary goal of human self-actualization in mind.

The Earth is recognized as a closed system with the knowledge that resources can become depleted with overuse.

Only eco friendly technologies will be employed to meet humanities’ needs.

Humans will recycle resources, use less resources and learn to function with fewer commodities.

Humanity will adhere to the concept of the minority tradition or bioregionalism.

George Sessions and Arne Naess came together in Death Valley, California on a camping trip in 1984 and summarized fifteen years of cognitions related to the principles of deep ecology. The basic principles were articulated as follows.

1. All living and non-living entities have intrinsic value that is not related to human endeavors.

2. The diversity and richness of living entities is appreciated and respected

3. Humanity can utilize the living entities of the Earth for vital needs and within the context that predation is a natural phenomenon of the biosphere.

4. Humanity must control its growth in numbers such that it will not deplete the planets’ natural resources and deprive future populations of a fruitful existence. This applies to all other living creatures and entities as well.

5. Humans are disrupting the environment in increasingly negative ways and little has been done to rectify environmental problems rendered.

6. Political and social policies regarding how humans interact with their environment must change toward eco friendly principles.

7. Values about standard of living must change from a focus on raising those standards to living a higher quality of life instead.

8. Those who agree with these principles should take on the responsible for initiating these changes and encouraging others to do likewise.


Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered by Bill Devall and George Sessions, 1985 by Gibbs M. Smith, Inc. Deep Ecology, pp. 63-76. Accessed 31 May 2020.

Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered by Bill Devall and George Sessions, 1985 by Gibbs M. Smith, Inc. Some Sources of the Deep Ecology Perspective, pp. 79-107. Accessed 31 May 2020.

Zimmerman, Michael E. Personal Interview by Alan AtKisson. “Introduction to Deep Ecology.” Global Climate Change, (IC#22), 1989, p. 24, by the Context Institute, Accessed 31 May 2020.

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