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20 Nat. Resources J. 299 (1980)
The Deep Ecology Movement

handle is hein.journals/narj20 and id is 329 raw text is: THE DEEP ECOLOGY MOVEMENT*
There are two great streams of environmentalism in the latter half
of the twentieth century. One stream is reformist, attempting to
control some of the worst of the air and water pollution and ineffi-
cient land use practices in industrialized nations and to save a few of
the remaining pieces of wildlands as designated wilderness areas.
The other stream supports many of the reformist goals but is revolu-
tionary, seeking a new metaphysics, epistemology, cosmology, and
environmental ethics of person/planet. This paper is an intellectual
archeology of the second of these streams of environmentalism,
which I will call deep ecology.
There are several other phrases that some writers are using for the
perspective I am describing in this paper. Some call it eco-philos-
ophy or foundational ecology or the new natural philosophy. I
use deep ecology as the shortest label. Although I am convinced
that deep ecology is radically different from the perspective of the
dominant social paradigm, I do not use the phrase radical ecology
or revolutionary ecology because I think those labels have such a
burden of emotive associations that many people would not hear
what is being said about deep ecology because of their projection of
other meanings of revolution onto the perspective of deep ecol-
I contend that both streams of environmentalism are reactions to
the successes and excesses of the implementation of the dominant
social paradigm. Although reformist environmentalism treats some of
the symptoms of the environmental crisis and challenges some of the
assumptions of the dominant social paradigm (such as growth of the
economy at any cost), deep ecology questions the fundamental
premises of the dominant social paradigm. In the future, as the limits
of reform are reached and environmental problems become more
*Thanks and acknowledgement to George Sessions, Philosophy Department, Sierra Col-
lege, Rocklin, California. His sympathetic support and ideas made it possible to develop and
deepen many of the ideas expressed in this paper.
**Professor of Sociology, Humboldt State University, Arcata, California 95521. An ex-
tensive discussion of Reformist Environmentalism written by Professor Devall was pub-
lished in the Fall/Winter 1979 issue of the Humboldt Journal of Social Relations. This is
available from the Dept. of Sociology, Humboldt State University.

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