History and the Environment 4: “Can Deep Ecologists Go too Far?”

I just ran by a really cool article on the internet by Donald Worster from 1995 titled The Rights of Nature: Has Deep Ecology Gone Too Far.  In the article he cites a historical event that occurred in the small village of St. Julien, France which is famous for its wines and is located near Bordeaux.  Apparently in 1587 there was a bad infestation of weevil that attacked the grape crops causing massive damage.  The small town brought up a legal suit against the weevil and actually lost in court, because it was deemed that insects, being creatures of God, had every right to live in the same place as humans.  This historical example is a great example of historical deep ecology.  Deep ecologist believe that all organisms on earth should be able to live and have space, but what about humans?  Do we have a right to live a comfortable life and dominate nature while bending it to our will?  Well, in my opinion there has to be some kind of balance.  If I were a deep ecologist living in Bordeaux at the time, I would have agreed with the ruling wholeheartedly, but then again, if the shoe was on the other foot, and I was growing the grapes for profit, the weevil would certainly be a pest.  I’m kind of on the fence with the deep ecology thing.  I think that deep ecologist go to far on many occasions.  I do believe that humans can co exist with nature by doing minimal damage and finding sustainable solutions for the survival of all species.  What does that make me?  Hell, I don’t know.   But if It was 1920 in south Georgia when the boll weevil was destroying cotton fields, and that’s how I made my living, I would probably fist fight a deep ecologist trying to tell me not do something about the weevils.  Like I said there has to be some kind of balance between humans and nature.  We are both here on Earth, we share the planet, and hopefully we will share this planet for many centuries to come.  Brent.


Worster, Donald.  The Rights of Nature:  Has Deep Ecology Gone too Far.   http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/51614/donald-worster/the-rights-of-nature-has-deep-ecology-gone-too-far. Internet.  Accessed 9 September 2011.


About deadfryday

I dig History and its preservation
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