Core Values of Ecologism

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Ecologism: ecology
The term ecology refers to the study of organisms being `at home' or `in their habitats. This
is formed on the belief that all plants and animals are sustained through self-regulating
eco systems. All ecosystems tend to lean towards a state of harmony. However, all
ecosystems are inter linked, the world is made up of natural complex eco systems, the
largest being the global ecosystem.
Ecology conflicts with the idea of humans being the master of nature, but instead implies
that the world is created based on the network of interrelationships. Ecologists have
argued that humankind faces environmental disaster due to the imbalance and pursuit of
material wealth, which has upset the `balance of nature'.
This prospect has happened through many ways that include; the increase in the world's
population; the using of unrenewable resources such as coal or oil; the destruction of
forests that regulate the earth's air and climate; the use of food chemical additives and the
threat from extinction of other species due to the dominance of humankind.
Ecologism is considered to be a view that is `ecocentric' rather than anthropocentric.
However, there have been different ideas applied to different ecologists. This has derived
from Arne Naess a "shallow" perspective, the view that accepts the lessons of ecology that
is humans conserve and cherish the world then human life will be sustained. This view can
be shown in concerns over controlling population growth and reducing pollution.
However, "deep" ecologists dismiss shallow ecologism. They argue that the central idea is
to maintain the health and prosperity of the people who live in developed countries. This
perspective rejects the idea that humans are superior in any way and implies that humans
are here to sustain nature. This view has been referred to philosophical ecology and has
been challenged by shallow ecologists as irrational and unrealistic.

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Ecologism: Holism
Traditional politics has normally simply regarded nature as little more than an economic resource. In
the seventeenth century, philosophers were beginning to understand the world as a machine whose
parts can be analysed and understood, rather than organic. However, some have argued that humans
beings are a part of the world rather than its masters who can repair or adapt the `machine'. Capra
suggested this fixation with the "Newtonian world-machine" that must be overthrown.…read more

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Species that pose a threat to
the balance as humans do, are likely to be extinguished.…read more

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Ecologism: Sustainability
Mainstream political parties have articulated that human life has unlimited possibilities for material
growth and prosperity. Science and technology are constantly solving problems such as poverty and
disease. However, the idea of unlimited prosperity is considered misguided and a cause of
environmental disaster. Therefore green economics requires assumptions about nature and
economic activity to be rethought, particularly in relation to the resources of the earth.
The metaphor of the "spaceship" earth has been used to emphasize the notion of limited and
exhaustible wealth.…read more

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A `return to nature'.
Ecologism: environmental ethics
Ecology is concerned with extending moral thinking. This is because conventional ethical systems are
anthropocentric. For example Utilitarianism evaluates good and evil in terms of pleasure and pain that
humans experience. Therefore humans should act and do act in whatever way will gain them greatest
levels of happiness.
Another ethical issue is the question of our moral obligations towards future generations.…read more

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Ecologism: Self actualization
Ecology adopts an alternative philosophy that links personal fulfilment to a balance with nature. This
idea suggested on Maslow's `hierarchy of needs', places the need for self-actualization above
material or economic needs. The conditions of widespread prosperity allow individuals to express
more interest in `quality of life' issues. These are usually concerned with morality, political justice and
personal fulfilment. Ecologism can be seen as a new social movement committed to a new left
agenda.…read more

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