Journey to a sustainable future

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Deep Ecology Platform

Ausable River, NY, 2011
As I alluded to in my introductory post, I believe firmly in the precepts of the Deep Ecology Platform.  So, here is the Deep Ecology Platform, from

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.

6) Policies must therefore be changed. The changes in policies affect basic economic, technological, and ideological structures. The resulting state of affairs will be deeply different from the present.

7) The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent worth) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great.

8) Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes.

- Arne Naess and George Sessions

Maryland, 2012

I just LOVE that point 8 is a call to action.  So many creeds or mission statements or mottos or (even worse) "company commitments to the environment" are empty.  They sound great, but they don't DO anything, or even suggest true, meaningful action.


This is big. 

In college, I took a class called Environmental Ethics and Worldviews, taught by Dr. Vogt.  I didn't even know what a worldview was when I walked into that class; but I certainly came out with a different one.  It was here that I first heard of the concepts deep ecology, environmental racism, environmental feminism, as we were introduced to the ethics and philosophy of how we as a species interact with our biosphere. 

Nestucca, OR, 2008
Please don't think me an anarchist, or a Communist, or a total hippy freak.  I'm none of those things.  I am a woman who realizes that the chemical soup we have created for ourselves means that I have a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer.  I am a mother who looks at the rate of deforestation, the lack of corporate accountability for externalized costs, and the pollution of our drinking water, and grieves for the world my children will inherit.  I am a citizen of the United States who fears for the future of my country if we continue to insist on "cheap" oil procured through expensive wars--when the sun is free!

I am worried, yes, but I truly believe that if we could align ourselves even partially with this Deep Ecology Platform, we could change the world.  The question is, how necessary do we deem the change?

Anthony Lakes, OR, 2009

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


March 2012

Hi!  My name is Emily.  I live in Florida with my husband and toddler daughter; though I'd rather be living in Oregon or Vermont with my husband and toddler daughter. 

I want to live a genuine life--a life that mirrors my true priorities.  I want people to look at my house, my yard, my activies, my possessions, and ME, and see a woman of Grace who cherishes her family and cares passionately about Earth's ecology.

I wholeheartedly agree with the principles of the Deep Ecology Platform, specifically that
"Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity [of the Earth] except to satisfy vital needs" and "Those who subscribe to the foregoing points have an obligation directly or indirectly to participate in the attempt to implement the necessary changes."

My journey to this sustainable dream includes small dwelling and deep living.  It means cultivating contentedness, redefining "enough," exploring the outdoors with my daughter, putting people before things, saying NO to the culture of consumerism, and reducing our family's ecological footprint.  It means finding the inherent joy in the statement "less stuff; more life!"  It means having time to enjoy my daughter and learn together.

It means that my husband and I are trying to create in our home the world we would like to see.

Come journey with us!
October 2011, in Colorado