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A Deep Ecology Perspective and Critique of the
Mainstream Environmental Movement
By David Siegenthaler
(First printed as: “Earth Walk: A Deep Ecology Perspective and Critique of the Mainstream Environmental Movement”
Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice.)
How we understand the world and our role in it depends upon worldviews formed through social forces, including language and attitudes, and through personal contact and participation. With- out sufficient contact and interaction with nature, and without a worldview sufficiently open to it, we are not able to form relationships with communities of life around us, meaning we are unable to live in solidarity with them. Yet the world is full of wonders still and of possibilities for new awakenings to the word of God coming to expression there – of worldviews reoriented to the communities that sustain life.
The day breaks crisp and clear, with delicate scents of pine infused now and then with hints of vanilla and moist meadow. The air is thin at 8,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, but fresh and exhilarating. Ravens broadcast their calls in conversation with their kin at various treetops across a wide swatch of forest, interspersed with wet, sub-alpine meadows. Occasionally, the faint and melodic, rising and falling, flute- like song of a thrush echoes within the dense cover of the lodgepole pine and red fir forest. Golden mantled ground squirrels busily dart to and fro in their frenzy of gathering and stashing. Ants emerge from their mounds to begin their collecting, scouting, and cultivating chores in well-organized synchronism. If one is attentive, open, and patient, myriad other activities by the indigenous populations can be noticed. The warming rays of golden sunlight awaken the plant and animal community; the sublime beauty of forms and textures, smells, and sounds, prompts an immediate sensation of comfort, kinship, and
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