The Passing of Arne Naess

Today’s New York Times carried the obituary of philosopher and ecological activist Arne Naess, who passed at the age of 96.  From the article:

In the early 1970s, after three decades teaching philosophy at the University of Oslo, Mr. Naess (pronounced Ness), an enthusiastic mountain climber and an admirer of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” threw himself into environmental work and developed a theory that he called deep ecology. Its central tenet is the belief that all living beings have their own value and therefore, as Mr. Naess once put it, “need protection against the destruction of billions of humans.”

Deep ecology calls for human population reduction, soft technology, and non-interference in the natural world. Deep ecology was in opposition to shallow ecology, which did not confront technology and economic growth. Naess called his philosopy ecosophy, fusing the terms ecology and philosophy.

Naess’ ideas offer a radical solution to environmental problems. If carried out what effect would they have on the practice of forestry as we know it. How have they already influenced the way people perceive the environment and environmental problems?

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