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Deep ecology

Deep ecology was an offshoot of the ecology movement. It was notable for statements that the Earth's carrying capacity for the human population was quite limited, and that it could carry no more than one to two billion people living at feasible levels of technology, in the long term. That claim led many to believe that they were advocating human extinction. Some did, in fact, but a voluntary form of it, consisting of not having any children.

The movement had many branches and theories, but most saw it as spiritual more than scientific, like the conservation movement. Some doctrines were viable and were later incorporated in current theories of Gaians and terrists. Few if any individuals call themselves deep ecologists now.

Deep ecology exercised relatively little influence on Green parties, political ecologists, environmentalists, the peace movement and the ecology movement, which were busy trying to prevent human extinction via nuclear war or other weapons of mass destruction.

Deep ecologists did however exercise considerable influence on the science of ecology - by forcing it to confront the implications of humans as just one of many animal species subject to the same population dynamics and to dieoff, which could be analyzed by the same methods, from a perspective that didn't treat them as special.

Deep ecologists tended to object to the label "environmentalist" as human-centric, and thus helped differentiate the modern ecology movement. They would however accept the label "Green" with the broader political implications of that term, e.g. commitment to peace. This may have been to reassure outsiders that their aim was not to cause any deliberate reduction of human population.

See also: ecology movement, Gaian, terrist, ecology, Green

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