Monday, 18 January 2010

Hubert considers Deep Ecology (1)

I recently spent a few confused minutes trying to read a document which referred to itself as a Deep Ecology Platform. I say 'confused' because:

a) I'm personally a rather confused individual and;

b) The document confuses the hell out of the already confused individual it's my calling to try to be.

Why? Well, one of the things it does that I find a bit confusing is to take it as read that positions that it understands to exist outside of what it calls 'the human world', i.e., the 'non human world', these positions can be spoken for, called upon and referenced - despite their absolute and admitted 'otherness' - as being perfectly understandable to us human being kinda thingies.

For instance, it says, without so much as a blink or a question mark or any suggestive hint of the possible problems that saying such a thing might involve, "human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening."

Well, blimy! How can you know this unless you've actually got it together to somehow ask the non-human world if this is what it thinks about things? Has the non-human world registered with Twitter and broadcast a series of terse, epigrammatic little pleas for moderation? I'm not that up on Twitter, so, really, how would I know for sure? But I guess I think that it hasn't.

So, yes, here are the first few point of the Deep Ecology Platform and maybe I'll return to this and witter on about it a bit more in the future (oh, or perhaps not. This is a blog after all; consistency is not an issue here!)

1. The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: inherent worth, 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 needs.

4. Present human interference with the nonhuman world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

5. 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.

For the time being though, here's an image of a rabbit glove puppet that I've put together to illustrate the fun of constructing supposedly independent external references that agree with the position you're trying to argue and - handily - are not and cannot ever be available to disagree with you about doing this. In other words, the ultimate 'We speak on behalf of the Silent Majority' argument.

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  1. Well actually their world is my world, and without them in my enviroment it would not be as good by a long shot. I do hunt them for food occasionally, but then some of them occasionally get the chance to kill me too, so I feel we are on an almost equal footing.
    My not so close neighbours do not think much of my not using poison baits. I prefere to hunt and trap using the traps I make in the field for ferral cats and foxes. These are the only non humans I will kill without a need for food or skins, because they are non native and do a lot of damage.
    Here is a pic of one of the non human animals that occasionally will fight back!!!

  2. Actually I got this boar using black powder cartridges with a .60 round ball in a black powder breechloading 12 gauge. Not very accurate, so I had to get in real close.