The Gaia Hypothesis supports the belief that the Earth and all living organisms function together to create one large interdependent system. It also implies that life manipulates and affects the environment as a means of survival and evolution. The Gaia Hypothesis is also known as the living Earth, an all-encompassing super organism.
Preservationism promotes the existence of nature and our resources for the sake of all species. It also embraces the idea of admiring and appreciating the diversity and splendor of nature. Preservationists believe that we need to preserve our environment despite the short-term gains that may be reaped by mankind by exploiting our resources.
Conservationists believe that mankind should benefit from environmental resources. Within this view there is justification in harvesting resources for the sake of development and prosperity for all. Their view supports the idea that everybody should benefit from Earth's resources, not just a select few. In addition, they believe that it is man's responsibility to see that resources are created and replenished for the good of many for the longest time possible. In all actuality, conservationism supports development and does not support conservation of resources for reasons of aesthetics or appreciation, but for the benefit of mankind.
Deep ecology draws parallels to preservationism in that it promotes full awareness of the environment. However it goes a bit further in promoting a deep, inner awareness for the environment. Many people that believe in deep ecology feel that they have an innate connection with nature and believe that all things in nature have the right to exist.
Social ecology professes that the way humans interact with and treat each other is they way they will interact with their environment. With this in mind, it is believed that changes in social behavior must come first, then, changes toward the way we treat our environment will follow.
How have your basic views changed (if at all) and which, if any, perpective would you lean toward in this New Millennium.