Envirosocialism: Contradiction or Promise?(1)

                                                                                                                                     By David Orton

                            For the task of global ecology can be understood in two ways: it is
                        either a technocratic effort to keep development afloat against the
                        drift of plunder and pollution; or it is a cultural effort to shake off the
                        hegemony of ageing Western values and gradually retire from the
                        development race. (Sachs 1993:11)

               [Introductory Note: This essay, “Envirosocialism: Contradiction or Promise?”, is one of
            fourteen essays
in the 1994 publication Green on Red: Evolving Ecological Socialism.
            The essays were published in
Canada as Annual No. 9, by the Society for Socialist
            Studies and Fernwood Publishing. My essay is
being made available on the internet for
            the first time. The thinking behind this decision is that this article
is a background
            contribution from the mid-1990s to ongoing discussions about what is sometimes
called “eco-socialism”. Is eco-socialism something new theoretically, or does it amount
            to putting an “eco”
before more-or-less traditional, human-centered socialist
            assumptions? Is it right to say that a future eco-
friendly society will be “socialist,”
            or does this pre-empt the wide-ranging naming and other
discussions  which are
            part of the birth of anything new socially? The essay was written to raise some of
these fundamental questions, which deeper Greens who are also Reds confronted
            in the 1990s and still face
today. What is, however, "new" since this article was
            first written, is the rise of religious
fundamentalism and the consequent emergence
            of the "security state" and what this has meant for the work of the global radical
            ecology movement. The essay may also be helpful in understanding the origins and
            ongoing evolution of the left biocentric theoretical tendency within deep ecology.]

            Writing about "Envirosocialism", immediately raises a number of questions. What,
            for instance, does the
content of a radical socialist environmental position
            encompass? Where are we to find role models given
that the environmental legacy
            of "actually existing socialist societies," many of whom have now departed
            historical stage, has been so disastrous? What is the character of the environmental
            movement itself? 
Is it a subversive force or a "greening up" of industrial capitalism?

            What does it matter whether Nature is privately or collectively owned, if it is being
            destroyed? How can a
human-centered or class-centered socialist ethics, protect
            non-human life forms or the physical
environment itself? How does one theoretically
            make the transition from human-centered, or
anthropocentric, ethics to a more
            inclusive ethics, and how does one bring about this change in

            Why are jobs and corporate profits – the immediate benefits from the ecological
            carnage of industrial
forestry – more important than protecting old growth forests
            in Clayoquot Sound or anywhere else in
Canada or the United States? The
            stunning photographs of some of this carnage can be seen in the book,

            Clearcut: The Tragedy Of Industrial Forestry
, which shows "The Industrial
            World View As Expressed
In Our Forests":

                    What's happening in our forests is only one result, although a
                    vivid one, of the rampant industrial mentality expressed in all
                    modern activity. A mentality that views nature as mere raw
                    material, awaiting conversion to commodity, and that assumes
                    humans to be superior to all other life. It is this failed paradigm
                    that has led us to the great ecological crisis we now face.
                    (Devall 1993)(2)

            What does it mean in Canada, that organized labour is usually on the wrong
            side in environmental issues,
speaking with the employers against the Earth
            and in defense of self-interest?(3) Is there then a mutual
self-interest between
            the capitalist class and the working class in the continuation of industrial
            society? If
so, what is the social base for radical environmentalism?

            Socialism, communism, and Marxism as doctrines, are themselves products
            of industrial society, so are
they capable of fundamental change, of being
            "greened", if industrial society itself is being called into
question?(4) The
            implication of Marx's Labor Theory of Value, is that nature is valueless,
            unless worked
upon by humans.

            How does one resolve conflicts between between nature or ecosystem rights
            and social justice for first
nations? Does the resolution of land claims in Ontario
            by the NDP government, have to mean the
dismantling of provincial parks like
            Algonquin and Quetico, as they have come to be known? (See
Federation of
            Ontario Naturalists 1993; and World Wildlife Fund Canada 1993.) Why is "land

            ownership" by aboriginal inhabitants taken for granted? How can land-claim
            settlements further the
interest of the natural world?

            If existing levels of economic growth are already destroying the planet's life-
            support systems, how
is it environmentally progressive to call for more
            growth or "development," as every elected
provincial social-democratic
            government is doing in Canada? How do we move away from a
            society – relentlessly pounded in by the media, with consumerism as the
            basis of self-
identity and an intimate component of the growth economy?
            How does envirosocialism deal with
the need for a different basis for self-
            identity, so that an injury to nature is recognized as an
injury to self?(5)

            In Canada, how does a radical socialist environmentalist work to bring about
            ecological and social change, when most organized environmentalists are part
            of the federally funded Canadian Environmental Network (CEN)?(6) Should an
            environmental organization (or a socialist journal like the Socialist Studies
            Bulletin) accept funding from the capitalist state apparatus rather than relying
            on grass roots fund raising? In the case of CEN, government funding means
            environmentalists accept sitting down regularly with industry and government
            representatives. It means working within the boundaries of the existing capitalist
            economic system – the market economy – to define and "solve" environmental
            problems; and it means accepting the continuation of a growth economy,
            packaged in the federal Green Plan language of “sustainable development.”(7)

            Internationally, an ominous CEN move is exporting mainstream environmental
            thinking to the Third World. The federal government is providing large grants
            for various CEN groups to "twin" with environmental groups in the Third World,
            through an "Environment and Development Support Program". Promoted
            liaisons must include a "development" group. Very detailed information has to
            be provided to the Canadian government about the northern and southern
            groups receiving the funding, with "indicators" for success in the project
            decided by the funding agency.(8)

            Given the government's funding strategy for the environmental movement,
            what is the organizing strategy for radical socialist environmentalists, for
            breaking this government hegemony, so they can work with others on issues
            and put forth counter visions? Where are the socialist or green magazines
            in Canada, in which an open-minded green-red or red-green debate can
            take place on some of these


            While these are painful questions to face, I continue to believe that there is an
            entry for a socialist perspective into the environmental movement in Canada
            and the United States. Since the end of the Cold War, environmentalism has
            become THE enemy of the corporate class, because it interferes with the
            destruction of the natural world for profit. The setting up of anti-environmental
            organizations, which claim to be genuine environmental groups but are
            funded by major corporations, shows that the absorption of environmental
            groups has been only partially successful in keeping the industrial capitalist
            ship afloat.(10) The environmental movement is a collective movement,
            because it seeks to restrict and then end the private, destructive use of nature.
            For green socialists or socialist greens, entry into such a movement must mean
            being practically involved in environmental struggles and through the struggles
            themselves, presenting a radical ecological and political analysis.

            Several green and environmental activists whose work I respect have reproached
            me, or the environmental group Green Web for advocating the continuing
            relevance of some kind of socialist perspective. Two statements from Green
            Party members in Ontario and England, given in personal letters, are illustrative:

                    Re Bulletin #41 ... I wish that it was possible to call it something
                    other than “socialist biocentrism.” Not because I don't like the term
                    socialist but because it carries too much baggage. After all even
                    the Ontario NDP ... call themselves socialists! (Whyte 1994)

                    I notice that you write about the possibility and desirability of a
                    “socialist biocentrism.” Having had some experience of many
                    brands of left-wing thought and organizations as well as
                    witness the way they consistently have denied all tenets of
                    ecological thinking, I suspect that such a marriage will prove
                    barren and end in an acrimonious divorce. I think that we should
                    be looking to develop ideas, policies and strategies that look
                    beyond the traditional political spectrum....At the end of the day,
                    I prefer to judge people by what they do and by the stances they
                    take on actual issues. I like the look of Green Web so I don't mind
                    what labels you wear....I don't think, however, that the turn-off
                    effect of words like socialism on the general public should be
                    underestimated. (Irvine 1993)

            There is no "answer" to the above criticisms. In the end it remains a
            leap of faith to be an envirosocialist, especially given the historical
            record of "socialist societies," past and present, and of the theoretical


            Ecology teaches us that in nature everything is interconnected. One
            can become involved in a "small" issue, and through it unravel the world.
            As many communities in Canada are facing "development" proposals,
            citizens who take up the fight to oppose such proposals can become
            radicalized through the interconnected nature of the issues and the
            class alliance between the corporate or government developer and
            the state apparatus. They then become receptive to revolutionary ideas.
            This is a potential mass base for a green socialism.

            But we must also think globally. Eurocentric global ecological destruction –
            a source of "Northern" wealth generation and the generator of the
            "ecological debt" owed to the Third World by industrialized countries –
            perhaps began with the voyage of Columbus in 1492. In his brilliant essay
            "Global Ecology and the Shadow of 'Development,'" Wolfgang Sachs
            (1993:5-6) gives a capsule picture of this existing world reality:

                    The best one can say is that development has created a global
of individuals with cars, bank accounts, and career
                    aspirations. It is
made up of the majority in the North and small
                    elites in the South and its
size roughly equals that eight per cent
                    of the world population which owns
a car. The internal rivalries
                    of that class make a lot of noise in world politics,
                    to silence the overwhelming majority of the people. At the
                    of development, the question of justice looms larger that ever.

            In the radical environmental movement, linking environmental integrity to
            social justice is on the agenda everywhere. The historical concern with
            class analysis and redistribution of wealth, and the self-sacrifice for the
            common good of the socialist and communist movements, are both
            needed. But a radical green envirosocialism also needs a new theoretical
            orientation, very different from traditional socialist thinking, to have any
            theoretical credibility or provide any guidance for the radical ecology
            movement, and for the way ahead.


            As an environmentalist and a green who is also a socialist, I have come
            to the conclusion that industrial society is the fundamental problem, not
            only ecologically but also socially. Such a viewpoint has severe
            repercussions for a socialist environmentalist. Industrial society can have
            a capitalist or socialist face. In his book, Regarding Nature: Industrialism
            and Deep Ecology
, Andrew McLaughlin (1993:172) states:

                    The core hypothesis of this book is that industrialism is the hub of a
                    set of
social practices that are destructive to the rest of nature.
industrialism, in both its variants of capitalism and
                    socialism, requires the
destruction of species and ecosystems,
                    and it now threatens the whole
biosphere.... What is required is
                    a perspective that takes industrialism
itself as part of the problem
                    and inspires efforts at its transformation...
We must create a
                    butterfly out of the caterpillar of industrialism.

            We must also acknowledge, as Clive Ponting (1991) indicates, that there
            are many other historical examples of the collapse or degradation of the
            environment that do not involve Western-centered value systems. The
            example of the environmental collapse of Easter Island, because of cultural
            projects by the Polynesian inhabitants, is a particularly graphic case
            (Ponting 1991: ch. 1). Richard Sylvan (n.d.:16), a left deep ecologist and
            Australian philosopher, writes about Ponting’s work:

                    What several of these examples also reveal is that no very high level
of technology is needed to inflict serious environmental damage;
                    persistence in pursuit of an ideological project (with nothing directly
to do with basic needs) will suffice. Other cultures did, or would have
(given the technology and numbers), wrecked similar damage. For
nstance, salination, megafaunal elimination, and so on, were well
                    established before the rise of modern Western paradigms, or in
regions outside their influence.

            Ponting (1991:32-35) argues that the weight of historical evidence is that
            Aboriginal groups in the Americas and Australia hunted many large mammals
            to extinction. My own preliminary position is that deep ecology is a movement
            beyond indigenous attitudes to nature, which center around human use,
            however respectfully carried out. One might characterize the best Native
            positions regarding relationships to the natural world as "deep stewardship"

a position that still remains human-centered. Although adequate for hunting
            and gathering societies with little technology and small numbers of people, it is
            not encompassing enough for the survival of the natural world in the 1990's.


            In November 1993 I took part in the First North American Temperate Forest
            Conference, held for three days in Burlington, Vermont. It was attended by
            several hundred forest activists, including a large indigenous contingent.
            Speakers from First Nations and indigenous organizations played prominent
            roles. One of the aspects of the conference which struck the two of us who
            traveled from Nova Scotia was the awareness of being part of a radical
            movement for change, with a distinct culture and music. Several well known
            Earth First! musicians were there, and they tapped into this culture with many
            songs celebrating those who defend the earth, and the sacrifices that have to
            be made by activists. There was a sense of collective power at the conference,
            which was energizing and something that any state security force would find
            hard to defeat.

            I was asked to give two talks. The first one, given as an Eastern North American
            regional report, outlined the "pulp culture" of the Atlantic Region of Canada and
            presented some of the characteristics of "pulp mill forestry." The talk concluded
            with four practical issues of concern facing activists in the region: the evaluation
            of plantation forestry; the increasing use of biological controls in forestry; the
            contentious area of ecosystem rights and Native rights; and the basic attitude
            by forest activists towards the pulp and paper industry (see Green Web Bulletin
            No. 40, 1993; and Wild Earth, Spring 1994).

            The second talk was given as part of a panel discussion on the issue of
            "sustainable forestry." The two other speakers, Tracy Katelman (Institute for
            Sustainable Forestry) and Richard Miller (Forest Partnership), argued in favour
            of this and discussed its characteristics. My talk basically opposed the focus by
            some forestry activists on sustainable forestry within the existing system. I
            argued that a sustainable forestry requires a sustainable society; that forestry
            activists must oppose capitalist industrialism in their work and the core values
            of this society; and put forward an alternative philosophy. Under the heading
            "An Alternative Philosophy" I put forward the possible contribution of a socialist
            tradition to the radical environmental movement:

                    I think the bones of a basic alternative philosophy for our forestry
                    and other environmental work draw on traditional native and
                    deep ecology thinking - the eight-point deep ecology platform –
                    and with a strong social justice component which has its roots in
                    the socialist tradition. This alternative philosophy expresses a new
                    relationship to nature, which is biocentric or ecocentric, not

                    Putting the earth first means ecosystem rights before human rights.
                    When considering human rights, give native-indigenous rights first
                    consideration, but not at the expense of ecosystem rights....Social
                    justice is only possible in a context of ecological justice. We have
                    to move from a shallow, human-centered ecology to a deeper
                    all-species centered ecology.

                    The social component of the alternative philosophy must advocate
                    building a movement against industrialism, and advocating a
                    no-growth economy. We need to raise the banner of living more
                    simply and reduce population. We must advocate the cancellation
                    of debts for countries in the Two-Thirds World and the transfer of
                    wealth to "have-not" countries. Our orientation has to be that
                    governments and industry in "developed" countries are partners in
                    environmental crimes. The values we advance in our work as
                    forestry activists, or in the illusive pursuit of a "certifiable"
                    sustainable forestry, cannot help destroy the natural world.
                    (Orton 1994:24)


            THE GREEN WEB

            The Green Web (GW) is a small independent green research group with its
            nucleus based in Nova Scotia. The GW sees its mandate as serving the
            informational and theoretical needs of activists in the green and environmental
            movements. We have become part of a local, provincial, national, and
            international network of activists who receive, exchange, and distribute
            information and analysis both through the mail and electronically.

            The GW is also part of other anti-toxics, forestry, and anti-biocide networks,
            which foster information exchange; and it has exchanges with many
            movement publications. It neither solicits nor accepts funding from governments
            or corporations. A number of activists make financial donations to support the
            work, and many provide information and ideas.

            GW material is produced as Bulletins (over forty of them at present). The
            contents are reports on specific investigations or analyses done in Nova Scotia
            and articles reproduced (with the permission of the authors) because of their
            theoretical importance and relevance for activists. GW Bulletins cover a number
            of main themes:

            - forestry biocides;
            - green theoryincluding socialist biocentrism, movement, and party discussion;
            - forestry and the pulp and paper industry;
            - “Sustainable development;”
            - wildlife and parks.

            A brief statement of basic beliefs is given on the “Green Web Literature” list of

                    We believe the capitalist world-wide economic system is destroying
                    the Earth. This system, with its human-centered view of nature as
                    a "resource" and with its roots in endless economic growth and
                    consumerism, has us all on a death path. Needed are new ecological,
                    social, economic, political, spiritual and cultural visions, and
                    reductions in human populations. New environmental ethics
                    and an associated environmental economics are required. Societies
                    have to be ecologically sustainable for the survival of all species
                    on Earth. (“Green Web Literature” 1994)


            While much of the work is focused on practice, the GW sees itself as part of a
            left biocentric tendency that is emerging in the green and environmental
            movements. The deep ecology component draws from the work of the
            Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess (see especially Naess 1989). This left
            biocentric tendency also represents a left focus within the deep ecology
            movement. It should be understood that "left" in this biocentric context,
            means anti-capitalist but not necessarily "socialist." Social, political, and
            economic questions, as well as wilderness and wildlife and the defense
            of forests, are part of this left biocentric agenda. There is a major concern
            with social justice. Other tendencies
such as social ecology, ecological
            Marxism, and ecofeminism
while raising important questions, are not
            biocentric but remain human-centered in their fundamental orientations.
            Ecology is not their core value and humans occupy centre stage in the
            ethical universe.

            There is perhaps agreement among left biocentrists that industrial capitalism
            has to go – both industrialism and capitalism. But the nature of its
            replacement is the subject of continuing thinking and discussions. Various
            names and conceptualizations have been formulated by writers to try and
            encapsulate this emerging left biocentric tendency: "deep green theory"
            (Richard Sylvan); "socialist biocentrism" (Helga Hoffmann and David Orton);
            "ecologism" (Andrew Dobson); "radical ecocentrism" (Andrew McLaughlin);
            and "revolutionary ecology" (Orin Langelle, Anne Petermann, and Judi Bari).
            The final terminology and content of the left biocentric tendency are yet to
            be decided, but the preliminary written work indicates some of the developing
            commonalities – as well as some of the problems. The tentativeness of this
            emerging tendency needs be stressed, and that discussions are ongoing.(12)

            I believe that those who would fall into a left biocentric "grouping" would give
            a critical support to deep ecology. All would give support to the eight-point
            deep ecology platform (see Appendix). All would perhaps oppose any
            absorption of mainstream deep ecology into the North American personal
            development movement through a fixation on "Self realization" – a route
            mapped out by the Australian deep ecologist Warwick Fox (1990) – and
            ultimate absorption into the capitalist status quo. All left biocentrists, would
            consider deep ecology a “subversive” philosophy, with goals that cannot be
            fulfilled within industrial capitalism.


            As for my question, "Envirosocialism: Contradiction or Promise?" the discussion
            presented here will probably allow either position to be upheld. It would be
            wrong to say that radical green envirosocialism is prominent in the consciousness
            of the left in Canada. Historically many socialists and communists have cruelly
            suffered or died in the attempt to further the collective well-being of working-class
            people. So it is perhaps particularly hard to take a non-human-centered stand
            when the interests of the earth and workers collide. But a socialist biocentric view
            does accepts a deep ecology philosophical position. It sees that wild nature is
            being rapidly destroyed and that humans are not "superior" to other forms of life.
            In those conflicts of interests which so frequently arise – symbolized in the issues
            of Clayoquot Sound – the appropriate position is “earth first.”

            Starting to raise the kind of questions suggested here can be painful. The discussion
            meets with considerable entrenched opposition and requires a forum where this can
            take place. The work of the Green Web has, in the main, developed with very little
            encouragement or support from the left in Canada, and this is particularly true within
            our own bioregion. Non-socialist environmentalists and greens have been much more
            open-minded in the pursuit of a radical ecology and where this leads, and in
            recognizing the necessity to rethink received truths. When the world for all species is
            being destroyed before our eyes, there is no more significant, and ultimately hopeful,
            political struggle than that of the radical global ecology movement. It is where we
            should be working.


            1. I acknowledge the contribution to this article of my partner Helga Hoffmann. Over
                the years she has taken part in continuing discussions of the issues raised here.
                See also Orton 1993, where some of the ideas here first appeared.

            2. The quotation is taken from the back cover. Forestry activists provided the text to
                accompany the photos of clear-cuts. For example, Charles Restino and D. Orton
                jointly wrote the description of forestry in Nova Scotia.

            3. There are countless examples of this. One which is particularly obnoxious, in a
                Nova Scotia context, is the conduct of Local 9332 of the United Steelworkers of
                America, at the Westray Mine in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. The Local agitated
                to get this death mine back in production as soon as possible after the mine
                explosion; and a strip mine in Stellarton started, without any environmental
                assessment, against the wishes of the Stellarton Concerned Citizens Against
                Strip-Mining. The main public concern was jobs for miners who were members
                of the Local, even though there are still dead miners buried underground.
                Corporate voices and union voices were hard to differentiate on the issue of
                resuming underground mine production and starting the strip mine without
                any environmental assessment.

            4. Gare (1993:83-84) says that by 1931, "It could be fairly argued that the Soviet
                Union led the world in ecology."

            5. Challenging the capitalist basis of self-identity through the consumption of
                consumer goods; replacing this by a self-identification with the natural world,
                using the concept of "Self-realization" and mechanisms such as the "Council of
                All Beings" to do thishave all been important contributions of deep ecology.

            6. The Canadian Environmental Network Bulletin, 4:1 (Summer 1993), notes
                that Environment Canada provides annual core funding of $600,000 to CEN
                and the regional networks. We are also told (p.1):

                    “The federal government provides various kinds of participant funding

                    for a multitude of consultations. ENGO reps get compensation for

                    travel, communications, research, brief-writing, and (occasionally)

                    the time they spend in meetings with governments and industry.”

            7. See Canada 1990. The language of “sustainable development” permeates
                this document. For a critique and repudiation of sustainable development,
                see Green Web Bulletin 1990, 1994.

            8. The "Program Guidelines & Proposal Outlines" for the Environment And
                Development Support Program, obtainable from the CEN, is the source
                of much of the information in this paragraph. The CEN Bulletin 4:2
                (Autumn 1993) contains the newsletter of this Program. It says that to
                date: “More than 50 Canadian environment groups have been funded to
                operate projects in partnership with NGOs throughout the southern
                hemisphere.” Following "favorable" assessment of the pilot phase of the
                Program, permanent funding of $1.25 million dollars for 1993-94 was
                approved, along with funding of $10 million for a five-year period.

            9. On the socialist side, Canadian Dimension, is essentially committed to
                a left social-democratic position and quite conservatively adheres to
                some basic assumptions, for example: unionized workers as a central
                focus; state as an agency of change; off-again, on-again support for
                the NDP. Writing for this magazine, a radical envirosocialist of a
                biocentrist persuasion has to be cautious in floating new ideas, which
                bump up against the ageing social-democratic paradigm.

                On the green side there is now really no magazine which is interested in
                the subject matter of this article. Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A
                Journal of Socialist Ecology
(CNS), is a quarterly academic journal,
                published in the United States, but with an international group of editors,
                including James O’Connor (see his chapter in this book) and myself as
                editor-at-large. CNS tries to deal with the red-green interface, but comes
                at this mainly from the red side. "Ecological Marxism", is the strongest
                tendency it presents. A red-green alliance cannot be about converting
                the greens to become reds.

            10. See the listing and description of over 50 corporate-front "environmental"
                groups, in Deal 1993. The B.C. Forest Alliance, listed in the Guide, was
                created by the Burson-Marstellar international public relations company,
                at the request of the timber industry. The industry gave birth to this
                "citizens group", to counter the environmental movement. Jack Munro, a
                former of the IWA in Canada, is chairman of the board. To complete the
                picture, Patrick Moore, one of the founders of Greenpeace, is director of
                the forest practices committee. Funding is courtesy of the forest industry.
                See also Megalli and Friedman 1991.

            11. McLaughlin (1993) combines a deep ecology and social justice perspective
                coming out of the socialist tradition. The final chapter, “For a Radical
                Ecocentrism” should be required reading for any environmental activist
                seeking an alternative worldview to industrial madness.

            12. Richard Sylvan and Val Plumwood (formerly Richard Routley and
                Val Routley) originally worked together on deep green theory. Sylvan,
                an original thinker and prolific author, has continued this work,
                particularly as a sharp and perceptive critic of the philosophical fuzziness
                of deep ecology. He is not part of the "club" of deep ecology academics,
                and is not, unfortunately, well known to movement activists in Canada
                and the United States. Warwick Fox has said that Sylvan has the "most
                comprehensive philosophical critique of deep ecology that has been
                written to date." See Sylvan and Bennett 1994; and Sylvan 1994.

                A preliminary argument for socialist biocentrism was first given in Orton
                1989; see also Orton 1991.

                For a full discussion of ecologism and a good introduction to green political
                thinking, see Dobson 1990. For a sympathetic yet critical assessment of
                Dobson’s view of “Environmentalism,” from a Canadian perspective, see
                Orton (forthcoming). 
                Radical ecocentrism is outlined in the final chapter of McLaughlin (1993),
                which is also reproduced in Green Web Bulletin, No. 38.
                Revolutionary ecology is the terminology being used by Orin Langelle,
                Anne Petermann, and Judi Bari. They are U.S. forestry activists interested
                in creating a biocentric perspective that draws from deep ecology and
                social ecology, and the working-class traditions of the Industrial Workers
                of the World. For a preliminary statement, see Langelle 1993:4; and
                “Earth First!” (1993). The view of the working class in today’s ecological
                struggles is a more traditional “left” view.
                I would also consider U.S. writers David Johns and Bill McCormick to be
                in the left biocentric tendency. See Johns 1992; and McCormick 1993:10-11.
                McCormick has written many articles on population questions, always a
                sensitive topic for the left. Another deep ecologist on the left is the Australian
                academic Robyn Eckersley. I would not assign her to a left biocentric
                tendency as defined here, although she does speak of “ecocentric socialism.”
                See Eckersley 1992.


            Canada. 1990. Canada’s Green Plan. Ottawa.

            Canadian Environmental Network. 1993. CEN Bulletin, 4:1 (Summer).

            Deal, Carl. 1993. Greenpeace Guide to Anti-Environmental Organizations.
            Berkeley, CA: Odonian Press.

            Devall, Bill, ed. 1993. Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry. San
            Francisco: Sierra Club Books and Earth Island Press.

            Dobson, Andrew. 1990. Green Political Thought: An Introduction. London:
            Harper Collins Academic.

            “Earth First! in Northern California: An Interview with Judi Bari.” 1993.
            Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology
(CNS), 4:4.

            Eckersley, Robyn. 1992. Environmentalism and Political Theory: Toward
            an Ecocentric Approach
. Albany: State University of New York Press.

            Federation of Ontario Naturalists. 1993. “Putting Nature First: Conservation
            Principles to Guide the Settlement of Aboriginal Land Claims.” October.

            Fox, Warwick. 1993. Towards A Transpersonal Ecology: Developing New
            Foundations For Environmentalism.
Boston: Shambala.

            Gare, Arran. 1993. “Soviet Environmentalism: The Path Not Taken.” Capitalism,
            Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology
(CNS), 4:4.

            Green Web Bulletin. 1990. “Sustainable Development: Expanded Environmental
            Destruction,” No. 16 (February).

            Green Web Bulletin. 1991. “Discussion: Socialist Biocentrism.” Reprint of an
            exchange between James O’Connor and D. Orton, from CNS, 2:3 (1991) No. 29.

            Green Web Bulletin. 1994. “Struggling Against ‘Sustainable Development’: A
            Canadian Perspective.” No. 41 (January).

            “Green Web Literature.” 1994. January.

            Irvine, Sandy. 1993. Letter to author. June 25. (Irvine is co-editor of Real World:
            The Voice of Ecopolitics
(U.K.), and an associate editor of The Ecologist. He has
            been a member of the Labour Party, the International Socialists, and SERAthe
            Socialist Environment and Resources Association.)

            Johns, David. 1992. “The Practical Relevance of Deep Ecology.” Wild Earth, 2:2
            (reprinted in Green Web Bulletin, No. 34).

            Langelle, Orin. 1993. “Defining Practice From The Field: Revolutionary Ecology.”
            The Alarm: A Voice of Revolutionary Ecology
, 7 (Summer Solstice).

            McCormick, Bill. 1993. “The Stork Is The Bird Of War.” Real World: The Voice of
, (Summer).

            McLaughlin, Andrew. 1993. Regarding Nature: Industrialism and Deep Ecology.
            Albany: State University of New York Press.

            Megalli, Mark and Andy Friedman. 1991. Masks of Deception: Corporate Front
            Groups in America
. Washington, D.C.: Essential Information.

            Naess, Arne. 1989. Ecology, Community and Lifestyle. Trans. and revised by
            David Rothenberg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

            Orton, David. 1989. “Green Marginality in Canada.” Presentation, Learned Societies
            Conference, Quebec City (reprinted in Green Web Bulletin, No. 4).

            _____. 1993. “Envirosocialism.” Paper originally written in December 1992 and
            circulated through Green Web and subsequently printed in Green Multilogue,
            8:1 (November).

            _____. 1994. “Sustainable Forestry.” Earth First! Journal, XIV:3.

            _____. Forthcoming. “A Review of Dobson’s View of Environmentalism.”
            Canadian Dimension

            Ponting, Clive. 1991. A Green History Of The World: The Environment
            and the Collapse of Great Civilizations
. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

            Sachs, Wolfgang. 1993. “Global Ecology and the Shadow of ‘Development.’”
            In Global Ecology: A New Arena of Political Conflict, ed. Wolfgang Sachs
            (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing).

            Sylvan, Richard. n.d. “Paradigmatic Roots Of Environmental Problems.” Mimeo,
            The Australian National University.

            ______. 1994. Deep Pluralism. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.

            R. Sylvan and D. Bennett. 1994. The Greening of Ethics. Cambridge: White
            Horse Press.

            Whyte, Ian. 1994. Letter to author. January 17. (Whyte is secretary of the Green
            Party of Ontario, and is involved with anti-biocide and parks/wilderness issues).

            World Wildlife Fund Canada. 1993. “Protected Areas and Aboriginal Interests
            in Canada.” July.

            Appendix: The Deep Ecology Platform

            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

            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, from Bill Devall, ed., Clearcut: The
            Tragedy of Industrial Forestry
(San Francisco: Sierra Club Books and Earth
            Island Press, 1993), p.235.

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