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Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 1 of 1

The Case for Deep Ecology (Index)

Intro............................................................................................................................................2

Precursory Devlopment...............................................................................................................3
A. Contention 1: Resolutional Analysis................................................................................................. 3
1. Should: .....................................................................................................................................................................3
2. Environmental policy: ...........................................................................................................................................3
3. Shallow Ecology: ....................................................................................................................................................3
4. Deep Ecology: .........................................................................................................................................................3
B. Criterion (or Framework) ................................................................................................................. 4

Contention 2: The Link ...............................................................................................................5


The United States military is already preparing for resource wars...................................................................5

Contention 3: Analysis................................................................................................................6
This embodies the mindset of shallow ecology.......................................................................................................6

Contention 4: Impact...................................................................................................................7
The mindset of shallow ecology threatens every ecosystem on Earth and our extinction ..............................7

Contention 5: Alternative............................................................................................................8
…deep ecology’s mindset is this: Rather than having consumerism drag us along, evaluate ecosystem
impacts and alternative action. ................................................................................................................................8

Contention 6: The Application ....................................................................................................9


The ballot is key here –..............................................................................................................................................9
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 2 of 2

Intro

When Thomas Jefferson finished drafting the Declaration of Independence 233 years ago, he and the
other Founders risked their lives and took a monumental step toward freedom. They launched the
revolution that resulted in our independence from Britain and, ultimately, our own unique government.
Unlike a monarchy, America’s democratic republic was founded on an idea, rather than an accident of
geography or a tribal identity.
But for people in other countries, the government existed first, and rights flowed from the government.
Our government is a reflection of the people; it is a government from the bottom up. Our basic rights do
not come from the state. They are inherent in us.
U.S. Senator Jon Kyl [R-Arizona; elected to the U.S. Senate in 1994 and re-elected in 2000 and 2006,
after having served four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. As the Republican Whip, he is the
second-ranking member of the Senate Republican Leadership and responsible for building support on
key issues. He serves on the Senate’s Finance Committee, where he is the ranking Republican on the
Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight, and on the Judiciary Committee, where he is the ranking
Republican on the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security], “CELEBRATING
THE FOURTH OF JULY”, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2009,
http://kyl.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=315158

It is important to recognize the merit and truth in Jon Kyl’s words – government is a reflection of the
people. As the people subject to authority, we must hold morals and values in their proper place and
with the proper treatment; not doing so would make us guilty of allowing others without such morals
and values to influence government, making us guilty of the long-term effects of such a process. This
leads us to affirm the resolution and to stand Resolved: That the United States Federal Government
should significantly reform its environmental policy.
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 3 of 3

Precursory Devlopment
A. Contention 1: Resolutional Analysis

The most important thing in today’s debate round is the resolution, which is why we offer Contention
1: Resolutional Analysis as the next section of our case.

First, there are two important words we need to define in the resolution:

1. Should:
“used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions” (Oxford
American Dictionaries, 2k9)

2. Environmental policy:
“Official statements of principles, intentions, values, and objective which are based on legislation and
the governing authority of a state and which serve as a guide for the operations of governmental and
private activities in environmental affairs.” [Definition Source: EPA (Environmental Protection Agency,
2k9) (The Agricultural Thesaurus and Glossary, first released by the National Agricultural Library in
2002)]

Now let’s define two phrases essential to the case:

3. Shallow Ecology:
Shallow ecology is the mindset characterized by this phrase: “We need to take care of Earth’s resources
for the next generation.” (def derived from Naess, founder of the ecologic mindset)

4. Deep Ecology:
Deep ecology is the mindset characterized by the phrase “Wilderness has a right to exist for its own
sake.” (also derived from Naess)
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 4 of 4

Precursory Devlopment
B. Criterion (or Framework)

Now that we’ve interpreted the resolution, let’s establish our Criterion (or Framework) for the round,
or the lens with which we ask that the round be viewed through.

The case we will be advocating today is not a conventional case – normally, the affirmative team
supports a specific government policy; this year, it would be a government environmental policy.
However, it is important to recognize that debate frequently operates in a made-up world: voting
affirmative or negative doesn’t actually change a government policy. Therefore, our criterion is to view
the round through a lens of real-world impacts – things that actually do impact the real world: our
actions, the words we use, our presuppositions, and most importantly, our mindsets.

Instead of presenting a plan and using the made-up world concept of fiat to pretend like it actually
passes, we’re going to instead identify a mindset problem that the government and people have (the Link
and Analysis), explain why it’s a problem (the Impact), and how we should change our environmental
view accordingly (the Alternative).
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 5 of 5

Contention 2: The Link

Let’s start off with Contention 2: The Link, or a certain something that government is doing. That
certain something is resource wars. According to Dr. Tom Clonan of the Irish Times in Sept. 2008:

The United States military is already preparing for resource wars


Dr Tom Clonan [Irish Times Security Analyst. He lectures in the School of Media, DIT], “US generals planning for resource
wars”, Published by the Irish Times, September 22, 2008,
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2008/0922/1221998220381.html, brackets in original
ANALYSIS: The US military sees the next 30 to 40 years as involving a state of continuous war against
ideologically-motivated terrorists and competing with Russia and China for natural resources and markets, writes
Tom Clonan AS GENERAL Ray Odierno takes command of US forces in Baghdad from troop surge architect Gen David
Petraeus, America has begun planning in earnest for its phased withdrawal. The extra brigade combat teams - or battlegroups
- deployed to Iraq by Petraeus have already withdrawn and a further 8,000 troops have been diverted to Afghanistan. In
January, the next president of the United States will conclude America's timetable for withdrawal in final negotiations with
the Iraqi government. Further evidence of America's future military intentions is contained in recently
published strategy documents issued by the US military. Under the auspices of the US department of defence and
department of the army, the US military have just published a document entitled 2008 Army Modernization Strategy which
makes for interesting reading against the current backdrop of deteriorating international fiscal, environmental, energy
resource and security crises. The 2008 modernisation strategy, written by Lieut Gen Stephen Speakes, deputy
chief of staff of the US army, contains the first explicit and official acknowledgement that the US military is
dangerously overstretched internationally. It states simply: "The army is engaged in the third-longest war in our nation's
history and . . . the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) has caused the army to become out of balance with the demand for
forces exceeding the sustainable supply." Against this backdrop, the 90 page document sets out the future of international
conflict for the next 30 to 40 years - as the US military sees it - and outlines the manner in which the military will sustain its
current operations and prepare and "transform" itself for future "persistent" warfare. The document reveals a number of
profoundly significant - and worrying - strategic positions that have been adopted as official doctrine by
the US military. In its preamble, it predicts a post cold war future of "perpetual warfare".According to its
authors: "We have entered an era of persistent conflict . . . a security environment much more ambiguous and unpredictable
than that faced during the cold war." It then goes on to describe the key features of this dawning era of continuous warfare.
Some of the characteristics are familiar enough to a world audience accustomed to the rhetoric of the global war on terror. "A
key current threat is a radical, ideology-based, long-term terrorist threat bent on using any means available - to include
weapons of mass destruction - to achieve its political and ideological ends." Relatively new, "emerging" features are also
included in the document's rationale for future threats. "We face a potential return to traditional security threats
posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas
markets." This thinly-veiled reference to Russia and China will, perhaps, come as little surprise given recent events in
Ossetia and Abkhazia. The explicit reference in this context to future resource wars, however, will probably raise eyebrows
among the international diplomatic community, who prefer to couch such conflicts as human rights-based or rooted in
notions around freedom and democracy. The document, however, contains no such lofty pretences. It goes on to list as
a pre-eminent threat to the security of the US and its allies "population growth - especially in less-developed
countries - [which] will expose a resulting 'youth bulge'." This youth bulge, the document goes on to state,
will present the US with further "resource competition" in that these expanding populations in the
developing world "will consume ever increasing amounts of food, water and energy".
[paragraphs omitted]
It states explicitly that the US military is preparing to fight continuous resource wars "for the long haul".
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 6 of 6

Contention 3: Analysis

Now that we’ve identified what our general mindset is, let’s apply Contention 3: Analysis. On average,
people’s mindset allows for resource wars. But what does that signify? According to Arne Naess, a
Norweigan Philosopher and founder of deep ecology:

This embodies the mindset of shallow ecology.


Andrew Light [Assistant professor of Environmental Philosophy at New York University, and Research
Fellow at the Institute for Environment, Philosophy, and Public Policy at Lancaster University, UK. He
has edited or co-edited thirteen books, including "Environmental Pragmatism" (1996), "Social Ecology
after Bookchin" (1999), and "Technology and the Good Life" (2000). He is also co-editor of the journal
"Philosophy and Geography" and President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology] & Holmes
Rolston III [University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State
University. He is often called "the father of environmental ethics" as an academic discipline and was
feature in "Fifty Key Thinkers on the Environment" (2001). He is author of numerous books including
"Philosophy Gone Wild" (1986), "Environmental Ethics" (1988), "Conserving Natural Value" (1997),
and "Genes, Genesis and God" (1999). He is past president of the International Society for
Environmental Ethics], “Environmental Ethics: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)”,
Page 267: Chapter 20: The Deep Ecological Movement: Some Philosophical Aspects by Arne Naess
[Norweigan philosopher and founder of deep ecology and ecosophy], Published by Wiley-Blackwell,
August 23, 2002, ISBN-10: 0631222944, ISBN-13: 978-0631222941
B. Resources
Shallow Approach: The emphasis is upon re- sources for humans, especially for the present generation
in affluent societies. In this view, the resources of the earth belong to those who have the technology to
exploit them. There is confidence that resources will not be depleted because, as they get rarer, a high
market price will conserve them, and substitutes will be found through techno- logical progress. Further,
plants, animals, and nat- ural objects are valuable only as resources for humans. If no human use is
known, or seems likely ever to be found, it does not matter if they are destroyed.
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 7 of 7

Contention 4: Impact

Our next contention is Contention 4: The Impact. Why does it matter that our mindset is one of
shallow ecology? Why does our mindset even matter? Our mindset matters because our morals greatly
affect those around us and how we treat the earth. By having this mindset of shallow ecology, we are
threatening not only the earth, but our very existence. According to Bill Devall, professor sociology, &
George Session, professor of philosophy:

The mindset of shallow ecology threatens every ecosystem on Earth and our extinction
Bill Devall [professor of sociology at Humboldt State University. Guest lecturer and featured speaker at
universities in the United States and Australia and at national and international environmental
conferences] & George Sessions [professor of philosophy at Sierra College, Rocklin, California],
“Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered”, CHAPTER 6: SOME SOURCES OF THE DEEP
ECOLOGY PERSPECTIVE, page 127, Published by Gibbs Smith, January 19, 2001, ISBN-10:
0879052473, ISBN-13: 978-0879052478, italics in original
Protection of wilderness and near-wilderness is imperative. While primal peoples lived in sustainable
communities for tens of thousands of years without impairing the viability of ecosystems, modern
technocratic-industrial society threatens every ecosystem on Earth and may even be threatening to
drastically change the pattern of weather in the biosphere as a whole.
Technocratic-industrial society is moving into areas of the planet never inhabited by humans before,
including the oceans and the Antarc- tic continent. Tropical rain forests in Asia, Africa, South and
Central America, Oceania and Australia are under attack by an unprecedented array of technology and
plans for exploitation and development.28 Tropical rain forests contain the greatest biological diversity
of any type of ecosystem on Earth. The Eleventh Annual Environmental Report to the President (1980)
concluded:
A most serious threat to the biosphere is the rapid disappearance of tropical forests. In many tropical
forests, the soils, terrain, tempera- ture, patterns of rainfall, and distribution of nutrients are in
precarious balance. When these forests are disturbed by extensive cutting, neither trees nor productive
grasses will grow again. Even where conditions are more favorable to regrowth, extensive clearance
destroys the ecological diversity of tropical forests. These forests are habitat for the richest var- iety of
plant and animal species on earth.29
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 8 of 8

Contention 5: Alternative

Now that we’ve identified our mindset and the problem with that mindset, we need to choose a
philosophy to replace it – this is done in Contention 5: The Alternative. But why? Why do we need t o
change? Don’t we know what the problem is already? Well, yes, we do know the problem. But The
reason we can’t just leave it is because that wouldn’t fix the problem! We need to change our ways.
Instead of having the mindset of shallow ecology, we should replace it and have the mindset of deep
ecology. According to Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher…

…deep ecology’s mindset is this: Rather than having consumerism drag us along, evaluate
ecosystem impacts and alternative action.
Andrew Light [Assistant professor of Environmental Philosophy at New York University, and Research
Fellow at the Institute for Environment, Philosophy, and Public Policy at Lancaster University, UK. He
has edited or co-edited thirteen books, including "Environmental Pragmatism" (1996), "Social Ecology
after Bookchin" (1999), and "Technology and the Good Life" (2000). He is also co-editor of the journal
"Philosophy and Geography" and President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology] & Holmes
Rolston III [University Distinguished Professor and Professor of Philosophy at Colorado State
University. He is often called "the father of environmental ethics" as an academic discipline and was
feature in "Fifty Key Thinkers on the Environment" (2001). He is author of numerous books including
"Philosophy Gone Wild" (1986), "Environmental Ethics" (1988), "Conserving Natural Value" (1997),
and "Genes, Genesis and God" (1999). He is past president of the International Society for
Environmental Ethics], “Environmental Ethics: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)”,
Page 267: Chapter 20: The Deep Ecological Movement: Some Philosophical Aspects by Arne Naess
[Norweigan philosopher and founder of deep ecology and ecosophy], Published by Wiley-Blackwell,
August 23, 2002, ISBN-10: 0631222944, ISBN-13: 978-0631222941
Deep Approach: The concern here is with re- sources and habitats for all life-forms for their own sake.
No natural object is conceived of solely as a resource. This leads, then, to a critical evaluation of human
modes of production and consumption. The question arises: to what extent does an in- crease in
production and consumption foster ul- timate human values? To what extent does it satisfy vital needs,
locally or globally? How can economic, legal and educational institutions be changed to counteract
destructive increases? How can resource use serve the quality of life rather than the economic standard
of living as generally promoted by consumerism? From a deep perspec- tive, there is an emphasis upon
an ecosystem approach rather than the consideration merely of isolated life-forms or local situations.
There is a long-range maximal perspective of time and place.
Will Malson The Case for Deep Ecology Page 9 of 9

Contention 6: The Application

The final section of the affirmative case is Contention 6: The Application.

This is imperative. We’ve identified our detrimental mindset: shallow ecology. We’ve recognized its
problems. Additionally, we’ve identified the mindset we should have: deep ecology.

Remember back at the beginning where we mentioned this was an unconventional affirmative case?
Normally, the affirmative team says changing some hypothetical government action solves for
something bad. But here, we’ve recognized that this is illusionary – we can’t actually mandate the
government do something like that. Instead, it is up to you – the judge. What we need is to change
people’s mindsets. What we need is for people to reject their old mindset of shallow ecology and replace
it with deep ecology.

The ballot is key here –


by casting an affirmative ballot, you are upholding the mindset and practices of deep ecology and
influencing real people.

However, a vote for the way things are would be a vote for shallow ecology’s mindset and practices,
legitimizing the inevitable destruction in the status quo. Lacking the proper influence, people go away
unaffected and complacent – leaving the current system untouched and leaving their former mindsets
wholly intact and unaffected.

In this situation, voting affirmative has real-world impact in the positive direction, influencing everyone
to be Resolved: That the United States Federal Government should significantly reform its
environmental policy.