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“ No compromise in defense of Mother Earth! ” – Founding pledge of Earth First!
The deep green worldview sees hawthorns, hedges, humus – and all the other living and non-living forms that make up the more-than-human world – as being valuable and meaningful in their own right, not just as a result of any benefits that humans might derive from their existence. In this worldview, when an ancient hedge is destroyed, for instance, it is ethically wrong not simply because it deprives humans of anything they might have gained – materially, aesthetically, or spiritually – from its continuing existence. It has also caused an immeasurably greater wrong to the living system that is the hedge, as well to the populations of species that used it as part of their life cycle.
This ethical extension from considering only 'instrumental' (human-benefiting) value to also recognizing 'intrinsic' (independent) value is neither trivial nor merely academic. Rather, its far-reaching practical implications represent an unparalleled opportunity: an opportunity to save much of the radiation of life with which we share the ecosphere from the cresting wave of extinction. Nothing else, I believe, gives this same hope.
If you hold a deep green worldview, then you will know the profound sorrow that comes from wilfully exposing oneself to all the bitter details of life's destruction.
Deep green fire is what helps us turn grief into action. Deep green fire is also what gives us the courage to speak out when we know that there are those who do not wish to hear our voice. And deep green fire is what motivates us, even knowing that the odds greatly favour Earth’s destroyers, to keep on fighting for what we believe is right.
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