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Environmental Self-
Ethics Actualisation
Sustainability Core Holism
Ecology (Shallow Opposition to
vs. Deep) Anthropocentrism…read more

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S ustainability
The capacity of a system to maintain its health
and continue its existence
Kenneth Boulding (1966)
`Spaceship Earth'
A vessel that contains a finite amount of resources
Should choose options like wind, water and solar
`Income' rather than `Capital'
Economic connotations/ Anti-Industrialisation
Schumacher (1973) developed `Buddhist
Shallow Deep
Sustainability requires a change
Balance sustainable growth with
to economic activity
Seek `zero growth'; rejection of
material prosperity industry, technology and
consumerism. Return to Nature
E.G. Carbon Tax E.G. Communal Living…read more

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Jan Smuts (1926)
The world can only be understood as a whole system,
not through individual parts
Fritjof Capra (1982)
You can't view the Earth as a `machine' that can be
easily fixed
Ecologists wish to replace the `machine' view, arguing that
if you hurt on part, you hurt it all
James Lovelock and Gaia (1979)
Gaia is the name given to Earth
The Earth is a living organism
Even inanimate objects are created by living organisms and
support them
Only species that support Gaia will flourish. Those that hurt
it will become extinct
Conflicts with shallow ecologism as it is anti-humanist…read more

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Opposition to Anthropocentrism
The belief that humankind is the centre of
the natural world and so may use nature for
its own purposes
Origins in monotheistic religions…read more

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Ecology (Shallow vs. Deep)
Recognises the interlinked relationships between the
ecosystems of the world
Disputes humans being the master f nature
Shallow ecology (humanist ecology)
Arne Naess (1973)
Use lessons of ecology for human gain. I.E. trees are good for
Deep ecology
Rejects superiority of humans ­ it is humans' job to sustain
nature not the other way around
Shallow Deep
Slightly anthropocentric Ecocentric
Science Mysticism
Humankind Nature
Animal Welfare Animal Rights
Sustainable growth Anti-growth
No interference…read more

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Old Sir

A very useful outline of the philosophies and thinkers that have affected the contemporary politics of ecology. Students might wish to augment this work with comments (assessment objective 2, evaluation and analysis) about the impact of these people and ideas on current policies nationally and internationally.

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