Thank you for visiting Deep Green Philly (not associated with Deep Green Resistance). This is a podcasting and news website inspired first and foremost by the certainty that we are on the wrong path as a species. Oil spills, destruction of other species and their habitats, nuclear meltdowns, trash strewn oceans, carcinogens in our air and drinking water, runaway global warming…is this the kind of world we want to live in and leave behind?
If our species is to survive we must look beyond the superficial, consumer driven “feel good” solutions offered to us by corporations and elites with a vested interest in preserving the insane status quo. We must look deeper, beyond the mainstream green movement that appears to have reached its limits.
In addition to radical ecology and environmentalism, Deep Green Philly will also explore a variety of social justice issues, many of which intersect with the struggle for ecological and environmental justice.
The site is updated fairly regularly, so please bookmark it and check back soon for new content.
A Brief History
Pennsylvania’s rich eco-history stretches back to before the days of the Mesopotamian empires. Around 12,000 years ago the first human inhabitants of what we now call Pennsylvania arrived shortly after the last Ice Age. Native communities thrived on and lived in harmony with the fertile lands and abundant wildlife of this region for thousands of years. The first colonists from Europe who arrived around 400 years ago immediately recognized the beauty, richness and lushness of the Pennsylvania land base. This unfortunately led to Pennsylvania becoming the nations greatest source of lumber by the late 1800’s. However, efforts by citizens of conscience were made to preserve what could be preserved, and despite extensive exploitation, 60% of Pennsylvania thankfully remains forested. Fairmount Park here in Philadelphia is in fact one of the largest inner city parks in the world, giving residents and visitors a chance to experience a taste of wilderness within city limits.
The ecological crisis has become virtually undeniable as more and more people around the world directly experience the effects of climate change and land base degradation. As environmentalism has moved from the fringes into the mainstream consciousness, the term “green” has gradually become quite ubiquitous. We now have Green political parties, green business solutions, and even green bio fuel.
While we can’t help but to recognize and appreciate the foundation laid by the original green movement, it is time for us to realize and accept that the term “green” has been co-opted. The green solutions presented to us today will do little if anything to avert the environmental disaster soon to be upon us, the disaster created for the most part by industrial capitalism, a system concerned only with profits and market growth. Such a blatantly destructive system needs a buffer, a salve, a chaser to make the poison easier to swallow. Unfortunately, that function has been delegated to the mainstream green movement.
As we watch our rivers and streams being degraded by industrial waste products, as cancer rates continue to rise, as the oceans fill with garbage and oil and radiation, we are meant to believe that switching over to eco-friendly light bulbs, biking to work, and shopping “green” will somehow eventually turn this thing around.
Contrary to mainstream green ideology, saving and sustaining the environment has little to do with our personal consumer or lifestyle choices. These choices are of course important for a variety of reasons, but we should nevertheless constantly remind ourselves that a handful of powerful corporations and the U.S. military industrial complex are overwhelmingly the biggest polluters and destroyers of the environment. Our own personal carbon footprints are dwarfed by entities like BP, General Electric and Lockheed Martin. Until these entities are removed or reconfigured, the environmental crisis will persist and magnify exponentially no matter how much we as individuals recycle or remember to turn off our lights at night.
The radical solutions needed to effectively counteract the suicidal tendencies of industrial capitalism are very difficult to synthesize with mainstream green solutions, most of which take capitalism, human centrism, and some vague notion of “progress” as givens at best and sacred cows at worst.
We cannot halt or slow down the ecological crisis without a profound reevaluation of our place within the natural world. Industrial society has given us the illusion that we can do without nature, that nature is ancillary to human existence. Many urban dwellers can go for days or maybe even for months with no meaningful contact with nature whatsoever. Living in these artificial, unsustainable bubbles makes it difficult to conceive of nature as anything other than a distant, nebulous, ethereal force, something “out there”, far away and totally separate from our daily lives.
If we want to preserve the beauty, diversity and health of our ecosystems, we must start by forming communities of like minded people committed to resisting and dismantling the destructive aspects of human culture. This resistance can of course take many forms, but regardless of the form ones activism takes, what should be clear is that doing nothing is simply no longer an option. As the tragedy unfolding in Japan has shown us, protecting the environment from the ravages of industrial society is a matter of survival.
Here is an introduction to the deep green philosophy from the Permaculture Media Blog:
Deep ecology’s core principle is the belief that, like humanity, the living environment as a whole has the same right to live and flourish. Deep ecology describes itself as “deep” because it persists in asking deeper questions concerning “why” and “how” and thus is concerned with the fundamental philosophical questions about the impacts of human life as one part of the ecosphere, rather than with a narrow view of ecology as a branch of biological science, and aims to avoid merely anthropocentric environmentalism, which is concerned with conservation of the environment only for exploitation by and for humans purposes, which excludes the fundamental philosophy of deep ecology. Deep ecology seeks a more holistic view of the world we live in and seeks to apply to life the understanding that separate parts of the ecosystem (including humans) function as a whole.