Deep Ecology, Part 13: A Deep Ecology Future

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Deep Ecology for the 21st Century, Part 13: A Deep Ecology Future with George Sessions

“We can keep nature at arm’s length if we just look at it as ‘scenery,’” says George Sessions, “but there’s something much deeper there.” Deep Ecology attempts to awaken us out of the superficial assumption that nature is for our pleasure and consumption, stressing the inherent value and rights of other species, and the responsibility of humans not to abuse our power for selfish ends. Sessions describes the influence of several great thinkers and activists on current efforts to preserve what is left of wildness in the world—and why this is crucial to our spiritual well-being and to human survival itself: “The old political categories of left, right, conservative, liberal are irrelevant when it comes to the kind of ecology that needs to be put into practice.” (hosted by Michael Toms)


George Sessions is chairman of the philosophy department at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. In April 1984, during the advent of Spring and John Muir’s birthday, George Sessions and Arne Næss summarized fifteen years of thinking on the principles of deep ecology while camping in Death Valley, California.

Sessions' publications include:

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • Being a young climber and garbageman in Yosemite Park
  • The influence of Gary Snyder, Paul Shepard and David Brower
  • How Thoreau and Muir influenced the rise of Deep Ecology
  • The trouble with liberals who focus on social justice issues
  • John Muir’s argument with the concept of “Lord Man”
  • Why ecology is actually a spiritual issue
  • The shortfall of the environmental summit in Rio
  • Why ecology transcends political categories
  • Shifting emphasis on issues within the Sierra Club
  • The disastrous effects of Christian denigration of nature and the body
  • St. Francis and the need for a pagan revolution in Christianity
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 10/1/1998       Program Number: 2728