Environmentalism

Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecologism combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism. Ecologism is more commonly used in continental European languages while ‘environmentalism’ is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.

Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment and critical earth system elements or processes such as the climate, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity.[1] For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, environmental ethics, biodiversity, ecology, and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.

At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainability. The exact measures and outcomes of this balance is controversial and there are many different ways for environmental concerns to be expressed in practice. Environmentalism and environmental concerns are often represented by the color green,[2] but this association has been appropriated by the marketing industries for the tactic known as greenwashing.

Environmentalism is opposed by anti-environmentalism, which says that the Earth is less fragile than some environmentalists maintain, and portrays environmentalism as overreacting to the human contribution to climate change or opposing human advancement.[3]

Definitions

Environmentalism denotes a social movement that seeks to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education in order to protect natural resources and ecosystems.

An environmentalist is a person who may speak out about our natural environment and the sustainable management of its resources through changes in public policy or individual behavior. This may include supporting practices such as informed consumption, conservation initiatives, investment in renewable resources, improved efficiencies in the materials economy, transitioning to new accounting paradigms such as Ecological economics, renewing and revitalizing our connections with non-human life or even opting to have one less child to reduce consumption and pressure on resources.

In various ways (for example, grassroots activism and protests), environmentalists and environmental organizations seek to give the natural world a stronger voice in human affairs.[4]

In general terms, environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources, and the protection (and restoration, when necessary) of the natural environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in ecosystems, the movement is centered around ecology, health, and human rights.

History

Mahaveer swami
Lord Mahavira, the last Jain Tirthankar is also considered to be a great environmentalist.[5]

A concern for environmental protection has recurred in diverse forms, in different parts of the world, throughout history. The earliest ideas of environment protectionism can be traced in Jainism, which was revived by Mahavira in 6th century BC in ancient India. Jainism offers a view that may seem readily compatible with core values associated with environmental activism, i.e., protection of life by nonviolence; which could form the basis of strong ecological ethos thus adding its voice to global calls for protection of environment.[6][7]

In Europe, King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in 1272, after its smoke had become a problem.[8][9] The fuel was so common in England that this earliest of names for it was acquired because it could be carted away from some shores by the wheelbarrow.

Earlier in the Middle East, the Caliph Abu Bakr in the 630s commanded his army to "Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire," and "Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food."[10] Arabic medical treatises during the 9th to 13th centuries dealing with environmentalism and environmental science, including pollution, were written by Al-Kindi, Qusta ibn Luqa, Al-Razi, Ibn Al-Jazzar, al-Tamimi, al-Masihi, Avicenna, Ali ibn Ridwan, Ibn Jumay, Isaac Israeli ben Solomon, Abd-el-latif, Ibn al-Quff, and Ibn al-Nafis. Their works covered a number of subjects related to pollution, such as air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination, municipal solid waste mishandling, and environmental impact assessments of certain localities.[11]

Early environmental legislation

StRolloxChemical 1831
Levels of air pollution rose during the Industrial Revolution, sparking the first modern environmental laws to be passed in the mid-19th century.

At the advent of steam and electricity the muse of history holds her nose and shuts her eyes (H. G. Wells 1918).[12]

The origins of the environmental movement lay in the response to increasing levels of smoke pollution in the atmosphere during the Industrial Revolution. The emergence of great factories and the concomitant immense growth in coal consumption gave rise to an unprecedented level of air pollution in industrial centers; after 1900 the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste.[13] The first large-scale, modern environmental laws came in the form of Britain's Alkali Acts, passed in 1863, to regulate the deleterious air pollution (gaseous hydrochloric acid) given off by the Leblanc process, used to produce soda ash. An Alkali inspector and four sub-inspectors were appointed to curb this pollution. The responsibilities of the inspectorate were gradually expanded, culminating in the Alkali Order 1958 which placed all major heavy industries that emitted smoke, grit, dust and fumes under supervision.

In industrial cities local experts and reformers, especially after 1890, took the lead in identifying environmental degradation and pollution, and initiating grass-roots movements to demand and achieve reforms.[14] Typically the highest priority went to water and air pollution. The Coal Smoke Abatement Society was formed in 1898 making it one of the oldest environmental NGOs. It was founded by artist Sir William Blake Richmond, frustrated with the pall cast by coal smoke. Although there were earlier pieces of legislation, the Public Health Act 1875 required all furnaces and fireplaces to consume their own smoke. It also provided for sanctions against factories that emitted large amounts of black smoke. The provisions of this law were extended in 1926 with the Smoke Abatement Act to include other emissions, such as soot, ash and gritty particles and to empower local authorities to impose their own regulations.

During the Spanish Revolution, anarchist controlled territories undertook several environmental reforms which were possibly the largest in the world at the time. Daniel Guerin notes that anarchist territories would diversify crops, extend irrigation, initiate reforestation, start tree nurseries and helped establish nudist colonies.[15] Once there was a link discovered between air pollution and tuberculosis, the CNT shut down several metal factories.[16]

It was, however, only under the impetus of the Great Smog of 1952 in London, which almost brought the city to a standstill and may have caused upward of 6,000 deaths that the Clean Air Act 1956 was passed and airborne pollution in the city was first tackled. Financial incentives were offered to householders to replace open coal fires with alternatives (such as installing gas fires), or for those who preferred, to burn coke instead (a byproduct of town gas production) which produces minimal smoke. 'Smoke control areas' were introduced in some towns and cities where only smokeless fuels could be burnt and power stations were relocated away from cities. The act formed an important impetus to modern environmentalism, and caused a rethinking of the dangers of environmental degradation to people's quality of life.[17]

The late 19th century also saw the passage of the first wildlife conservation laws. The zoologist Alfred Newton published a series of investigations into the Desirability of establishing a 'Close-time' for the preservation of indigenous animals between 1872 and 1903. His advocacy for legislation to protect animals from hunting during the mating season led to the formation of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and influenced the passage of the Sea Birds Preservation Act in 1869 as the first nature protection law in the world.[18][19]

First environmental movements

Early interest in the environment was a feature of the Romantic movement in the early 19th century. The poet William Wordsworth travelled extensively in the Lake District and wrote that it is a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy".[20]

John Ruskin - Portrait - Project Gutenberg eText 17774
John Ruskin an influential thinker who articulated the Romantic ideal of environmental protection and conservation.

Systematic efforts on behalf of the environment only began in the late 19th century; it grew out of the amenity movement in Britain in the 1870s, which was a reaction to industrialization, the growth of cities, and worsening air and water pollution. Starting with the formation of the Commons Preservation Society in 1865, the movement championed rural preservation against the encroachments of industrialisation. Robert Hunter, solicitor for the society, worked with Hardwicke Rawnsley, Octavia Hill, and John Ruskin to lead a successful campaign to prevent the construction of railways to carry slate from the quarries, which would have ruined the unspoilt valleys of Newlands and Ennerdale. This success led to the formation of the Lake District Defence Society (later to become The Friends of the Lake District).[21]

Peter Kropotkin wrote about ecology in economics, agricultural science, conservation, ethology, criminology, urban planning, geography, geology and biology. He observed in Swiss and Siberian glaciers that they had been slowly melting since the dawn of the industrial revolution, possibly making him one of the first predictors for climate change. He also observed the damage done from deforestation and hunting.[22] Kropotkin's writings would become influential in the 1970s and became a major inspiration for the intentional community movement as well as his ideas becoming the basis for the theory of social ecology.

In 1893 Hill, Hunter and Rawnsley agreed to set up a national body to coordinate environmental conservation efforts across the country; the "National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty" was formally inaugurated in 1894.[23] The organisation obtained secure footing through the 1907 National Trust Bill, which gave the trust the status of a statutory corporation.[24] and the bill was passed in August 1907.[25]

An early "Back-to-Nature" movement, which anticipated the romantic ideal of modern environmentalism, was advocated by intellectuals such as John Ruskin, William Morris, George Bernard Shaw and Edward Carpenter, who were all against consumerism, pollution and other activities that were harmful to the natural world.[26] The movement was a reaction to the urban conditions of the industrial towns, where sanitation was awful, pollution levels intolerable and housing terribly cramped. Idealists championed the rural life as a mythical utopia and advocated a return to it. John Ruskin argued that people should return to a small piece of English ground, beautiful, peaceful, and fruitful. We will have no steam engines upon it . . . we will have plenty of flowers and vegetables . . . we will have some music and poetry; the children will learn to dance to it and sing it.[27]

Practical ventures in the establishment of small cooperative farms were even attempted and old rural traditions, without the "taint of manufacture or the canker of artificiality", were enthusiastically revived, including the Morris dance and the maypole.[28]

These ideas also inspired various environmental groups in the UK, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, established in 1889 by Emily Williamson as a protest group to campaign for greater protection for the indigenous birds of the island.[29][30] The Society attracted growing support from the suburban middle-classes as well as support from many other influential figures, such as the ornithologist Professor Alfred Newton. By 1900, public support for the organisation had grown, and it had over 25,000 members. The Garden city movement incorporated many environmental concerns into its urban planning manifesto; the Socialist League and The Clarion movement also began to advocate measures of nature conservation.[31]

Walden Thoreau
Original title page of Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

The movement in the United States began in the late 19th century, out of concerns for protecting the natural resources of the West, with individuals such as John Muir and Henry David Thoreau making key philosophical contributions. Thoreau was interested in peoples' relationship with nature and studied this by living close to nature in a simple life. He published his experiences in the book Walden, which argues that people should become intimately close with nature. Muir came to believe in nature's inherent right, especially after spending time hiking in Yosemite Valley and studying both the ecology and geology. He successfully lobbied congress to form Yosemite National Park and went on to set up the Sierra Club in 1892. The conservationist principles as well as the belief in an inherent right of nature were to become the bedrock of modern environmentalism.

In the 20th century, environmental ideas continued to grow in popularity and recognition. Efforts were starting to be made to save some wildlife, particularly the American bison. The death of the last passenger pigeon as well as the endangerment of the American bison helped to focus the minds of conservationists and popularize their concerns. In 1916 the National Park Service was founded by US President Woodrow Wilson.

The Forestry Commission was set up in 1919 in Britain to increase the amount of woodland in Britain by buying land for afforestation and reforestation. The commission was also tasked with promoting forestry and the production of timber for trade.[32] During the 1920s the Commission focused on acquiring land to begin planting out new forests; much of the land was previously used for agricultural purposes. By 1939 the Forestry Commission was the largest landowner in Britain.[33]

During the 1930s the Nazis had elements that were supportive of animal rights, zoos and wildlife,[34] and took several measures to ensure their protection.[35] In 1933 the government created a stringent animal-protection law and in 1934, Das Reichsjagdgesetz (The Reich Hunting Law) was enacted which limited hunting.[36][37] Several Nazis were environmentalists (notably Rudolf Hess), and species protection and animal welfare were significant issues in the regime.[35] In 1935, the regime enacted the "Reich Nature Protection Act" (Reichsnaturschutzgesetz). The concept of the Dauerwald (best translated as the "perpetual forest") which included concepts such as forest management and protection was promoted and efforts were also made to curb air pollution.[38]

In 1949, A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold was published. It explained Leopold's belief that humankind should have moral respect for the environment and that it is unethical to harm it. The book is sometimes called the most influential book on conservation.

Throughout the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and beyond, photography was used to enhance public awareness of the need for protecting land and recruiting members to environmental organizations. David Brower, Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall created the Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series, which helped raise public environmental awareness and brought a rapidly increasing flood of new members to the Sierra Club and to the environmental movement in general. "This Is Dinosaur" edited by Wallace Stegner with photographs by Martin Litton and Philip Hyde prevented the building of dams within Dinosaur National Monument by becoming part of a new kind of activism called environmentalism that combined the conservationist ideals of Thoreau, Leopold and Muir with hard-hitting advertising, lobbying, book distribution, letter writing campaigns, and more. The powerful use of photography in addition to the written word for conservation dated back to the creation of Yosemite National Park, when photographs persuaded Abraham Lincoln to preserve the beautiful glacier carved landscape for all time. The Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series galvanized public opposition to building dams in the Grand Canyon and protected many other national treasures. The Sierra Club often led a coalition of many environmental groups including the Wilderness Society and many others. After a focus on preserving wilderness in the 1950s and 1960s, the Sierra Club and other groups broadened their focus to include such issues as air and water pollution, population concern, and curbing the exploitation of natural resources.

Post-war expansion

In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on human health and ecology. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds.[39] The resulting public concern led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1970 which subsequently banned the agricultural use of DDT in the US in 1972. The limited use of DDT in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial. The book's legacy was to produce a far greater awareness of environmental issues and interest into how people affect the environment. With this new interest in environment came interest in problems such as air pollution and petroleum spills, and environmental interest grew. New pressure groups formed, notably Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth (US), as well as notable local organizations such as the Wyoming Outdoor Council, which was founded in 1967.

In the 1970s, the environmental movement gained rapid speed around the world as a productive outgrowth of the counterculture movement.[40]

The world's first political parties to campaign on a predominantly environmental platform were the United Tasmania Group Tasmania, Australia and the Values Party of New Zealand.[41][42] The first green party in Europe was the Popular Movement for the Environment, founded in 1972 in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. The first national green party in Europe was PEOPLE, founded in Britain in February 1973, which eventually turned into the Ecology Party, and then the Green Party.

Protection of the environment also became important in the developing world; the Chipko movement was formed in India under the influence of Mohandas Gandhi and they set up peaceful resistance to deforestation by literally hugging trees (leading to the term "tree huggers"). Their peaceful methods of protest and slogan "ecology is permanent economy" were very influential.

Another milestone in the movement was the creation of Earth Day. Earth Day was first observed in San Francisco and other cities on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring. It was created to give awareness to environmental issues. On March 21, 1971, United Nations Secretary-General U Thant spoke of a spaceship Earth on Earth Day, hereby referring to the ecosystem services the earth supplies to us, and hence our obligation to protect it (and with it, ourselves). Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network,[43] and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year.[44]

The UN's first major conference on international environmental issues, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (also known as the Stockholm Conference), was held on June 5–16, 1972. It marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.[45]

By the mid-1970s, many felt that people were on the edge of environmental catastrophe. The Back-to-the-land movement started to form and ideas of environmental ethics joined with anti-Vietnam War sentiments and other political issues. These individuals lived outside normal society and started to take on some of the more radical environmental theories such as deep ecology. Around this time more mainstream environmentalism was starting to show force with the signing of the Endangered Species Act in 1973 and the formation of CITES in 1975. Significant amendments were also enacted to the United States Clean Air Act[46] and Clean Water Act.[47]

In 1979, James Lovelock, a British scientist, published Gaia: A new look at life on Earth, which put forth the Gaia hypothesis; it proposes that life on earth can be understood as a single organism. This became an important part of the Deep Green ideology. Throughout the rest of the history of environmentalism there has been debate and argument between more radical followers of this Deep Green ideology and more mainstream environmentalists.

21st century and beyond

Environmentalism continues to evolve to face up to new issues such as global warming, overpopulation and genetic engineering.

Research demonstrates a precipitous decline in the US public's interest in 19 different areas of environmental concern.[48] Americans are less likely be actively participating in an environmental movement or organization and more likely to identify as "unsympathetic" to an environmental movement than in 2000.[49] This is likely a lingering factor of the Great Recession in 2008. Since 2005, the percentage of Americans agreeing that the environment should be given priority over economic growth has dropped 10 points, in contrast, those feeling that growth should be given priority "even if the environment suffers to some extent" has risen 12 percent.[49] These numbers point to the growing complexity of environmentalism and its relationship to economics.

New forms of ecoactivism

Tree sitting is a form of activism in which the protester sits in a tree in an attempt to stop the removal of a tree or to impede the demolition of an area with the longest and most famous tree-sitter being Julia Butterfly Hill, who spent 738 days in a California Redwood, saving a three-acre tract of forest.[50]

Sit-in is a form of activism where one or any number of people occupy a place as a form of protest. The tactic can be used to encourage social change, such as the Greensboro sit-ins, a series of protests in 1960 to stop racial segregation, but can also be used in ecoactivism, as in the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest.[51]

Before the Syrian Civil War, Rojava had been ecologically damaged by monoculture, oil extraction, damming of rivers, deforestation, drought, topsoil loss and general pollution. The DFNS launched a campaign titled 'Make Rojava Green Again' (a parody of Make America Great Again) which is attempting to provide renewable energy to communities (especially solar energy), reforestation, protecting water sources, planting gardens, promoting urban agriculture, creating wildlife reserves, water recycling, beekeeping, expanding public transportation and promoting environmental awareness within their communities.[52]

The Rebel Zapatista Autonomous Municipalities are firmly environmentalist and have stopped the extraction of oil, uranium, timber and metal from the Lacandon Jungle and stopped the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in farming.[53]

The CIPO-RFM has engaged in sabotage and direct action against wind farms, shrimp farms, eucalyptus plantations and the timber industry. They have also set up corn and coffee worker cooperatives and built schools and hospitals to help the local populations. They have also created a network of autonomous community radio stations to educate people about dangers to the environment and inform the surrounding communities about new industrial projects that would destroy more land. In 2001, the CIPO-RFM defeated the construction of a highway that was part of Plan Puebla Panama.[54]

Environmental movement

Air pollution by industrial chimneys
Before flue-gas desulfurization was installed, the air-polluting emissions from this power plant in New Mexico contained excessive amounts of sulfur dioxide.

The environmental movement (a term that sometimes includes the conservation and green movements) is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement. Though the movement is represented by a range of organizations, because of the inclusion of environmentalism in the classroom curriculum,[55][56] the environmental movement has a younger demographic than is common in other social movements (see green seniors).

Environmentalism as a movement covers broad areas of institutional oppression, including for example: consumption of ecosystems and natural resources into waste, dumping waste into disadvantaged communities, air pollution, water pollution, weak infrastructure, exposure of organic life to toxins, mono-culture, anti-polythene drive (jhola movement) and various other focuses. Because of these divisions, the environmental movement can be categorized into these primary focuses: environmental science, environmental activism, environmental advocacy, and environmental justice.[57]

Free market environmentalism

Free market environmentalism is a theory that argues that the free market, property rights, and tort law provide the best tools to preserve the health and sustainability of the environment. It considers environmental stewardship to be natural, as well as the expulsion of polluters and other aggressors through individual and class action.

Evangelical environmentalism

Evangelical environmentalism is an environmental movement in the United States of America in which some Evangelicals have emphasized biblical mandates concerning humanity's role as steward and subsequent responsibility for the caretaking of Creation. While the movement has focused on different environmental issues, it is best known for its focus of addressing climate action from a biblically grounded theological perspective. This movement is controversial among some non-Christian environmentalists due to its rooting in a specific religion.

Preservation and conservation

Environmental preservation in the United States and other parts of the world, including Australia, is viewed as the setting aside of natural resources to prevent damage caused by contact with humans or by certain human activities, such as logging, mining, hunting, and fishing, often to replace them with new human activities such as tourism and recreation.[58] Regulations and laws may be enacted for the preservation of natural resources.

Organizations and conferences

ReefDoctor work station in Ifaty, Madagascar
Reef doctor work station in Ifaty, Madagascar

Environmental organizations can be global, regional, national or local; they can be government-run or private (NGO). Environmentalist activity exists in almost every country. Moreover, groups dedicated to community development and social justice also focus on environmental concerns.

Some US environmental organizations, among them the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, specialize in bringing lawsuits (a tactic seen as particularly useful in that country). Other groups, such as the US-based National Wildlife Federation, the Nature Conservancy, and The Wilderness Society, and global groups like the World Wide Fund for Nature and Friends of the Earth, disseminate information, participate in public hearings, lobby, stage demonstrations, and may purchase land for preservation. Statewide nonprofit organizations such as the Wyoming Outdoor Council often collaborate with these national organizations and employ similar strategies. Smaller groups, including Wildlife Conservation International, conduct research on endangered species and ecosystems. More radical organizations, such as Greenpeace, Earth First!, and the Earth Liberation Front, have more directly opposed actions they regard as environmentally harmful. While Greenpeace is devoted to nonviolent confrontation as a means of bearing witness to environmental wrongs and bringing issues into the public realm for debate, the underground Earth Liberation Front engages in the clandestine destruction of property, the release of caged or penned animals, and other criminal acts. Such tactics are regarded as unusual within the movement, however.

On an international level, concern for the environment was the subject of a United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, attended by 114 nations. Out of this meeting developed UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) and the follow-up United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Other international organizations in support of environmental policies development include the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (as part of NAFTA), the European Environment Agency (EEA), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Environmental protests

ClimateCampBAA
Climate activists blockade British Airports Authority's headquarters for day of action
March Against Monsanto Vancouver
"March Against Monsanto", Vancouver, Canada, May 25, 2013

Notable environmental protests and campaigns include:

Environmentalists

Notable advocates for environmental protection and sustainability include:

Assassinations

Every year, more than 100 environmental activists are murdered throughout the world.[60] Most recent deaths are in Brazil, where activists combat logging in the Amazon rainforest.[61]

116 environmental activists were assassinated in 2014,[62] and 185 in 2015.[63] (This represents more than two environmentalists assassinated every week in 2014 and three every week in 2015.)[64][65] More than 200 environmental activists were assassinated worldwide between 2016 and early 2018.[66]

In popular culture

  • The popular media have been used to convey conservation messages in the U.S. For instance, the U.S. Forest Service created Smokey the Bear in 1944; he appeared in countless posters, radio and television programs, movies, press releases, and other guises to warn about forest fires.[67] The comic strip Mark Trail, by environmentalist Ed Dodd, began in 1946; it still appears weekly in 175 newspapers. Another example is the children's animated show Captain Planet and the Planeteers, created by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle in 1989 to inform children about environmental issues. The show aired for six seasons and 113 episodes, in 100 countries worldwide from 1990 to 1996.[68]
  • In 1974, Spokane, Washington, became the smallest city ever to host a World's Fair. From Saturday, May 4, to Sunday, November 3, 1974, Spokane hosted Expo 74, the first world's fair to focus on the environment. The theme of Expo 74 was "Celebrating Tomorrow's Fresh New Environment."
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest is an animated motion picture released in 1992, which focuses exclusively on the environment. The movie is based on a book under the same title by Diana Young. In 1998, a sequel, FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue, was introduced.
  • Miss Earth is one of the three largest international beauty pageants. (The other two are Miss Universe and Miss World.) Of these three, Miss Earth is the only beauty pageant that promotes Environmental Awareness. The reigning titleholders dedicate their year to promote specific projects and often address issues concerning the environment and other global issues through school tours, tree planting activities, street campaigns, coastal clean ups, speaking engagements, shopping mall tours, media guesting, environmental fair, storytelling programs, eco-fashion shows, and other environmental activities. The Miss Earth winner is the spokesperson for the Miss Earth Foundation, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other environmental organizations. The Miss Earth Foundation also works with the environmental departments and ministries of participating countries, various private sectors and corporations, as well as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
  • Another area of environmentalism is to use art to raise awareness about misuse of the environment.[69][70][71] One example is trashion, using trash to create clothes, jewelry, and other objects for the home. Marina DeBris is one trashion artist, who focuses on ocean and beach trash to design clothes and for fund raising, education.

An alternative view

Many environmentalists believe that human interference with 'nature' should be restricted or minimised as a matter of urgency (for the sake of life, or the planet, or just for the benefit of the human species),[72] whereas environmental skeptics and anti-environmentalists do not believe that there is such a need.[73] One can also regard oneself as an environmentalist and believe that human 'interference' with 'nature' should be increased.[74] Nevertheless, there is a risk that the shift from emotional environmentalism into the technical management of natural resources and hazards could decrease the touch of humans with nature, leading to less concern with environment preservation.[75]

See also

References

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Further reading

  • Daynes, Byron W., and Glen Sussman, eds. White House Politics and the Environment: Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush (Texas A&M University Press; 2010) 300 pages; evaluates how 12 presidents helped or hindered the cause of environmental protection.
  • Johnson, Erik W., and Scott Frickel, (2011). "Ecological Threat and the Founding of U.S. National Environmental Movement Organizations, 1962–1998," Social Problems 58 (Aug. 2011), 305–29.
  • Martell, Luke. "Ecology and Society: An Introduction". Polity Press, 1994.
  • Lear, Linda (1997). Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 978-0-8050-3428-8.
  • de Steiguer, J. Edward. 2006. The Origins of Modern Environmental Thought. University of Arizona Press. Tucson. 246 pp.
  • John McCormick. 1995. The Global Environmental Movement. John Wiley. London. 312 pp.
  • Marco Verweij and Michael Thompson (eds), 2006, Clumsy Solutions for a Complex World: Governance, Politics and Plural Perceptions, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 978-0-230-00230-2
  • Vogel, David. California Greenin’: How the Golden State Became an Environmental Leader (2018) 280 pp online review
  • World Bank, 2003, "Sustainable Development in a Dynamic World: Transforming Institutions, Growth, and Quality of Life", World Development Report 2003, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Oxford University Press.
  • Keith M. Woodhouse. "The Politics of Ecology: Environmentalism and Liberalism in the 1960s," Journal for the Study of Radicalism, Volume 2, Number 2, 2009, pp. 53–84

External links

  • Environment at Curlie
  • Westland – A Canadian television series (1984–2007) on a broad range of environmental issues, from the UBC Library Digital Collections
Anti-environmentalism

Anti-environmentalism refers to the way that various groups in society have sought to counter the effects of environmental ideology and movements, to redirect and diminish public concern about the environment, to attack left-leaning environmentalists, and to persuade politicians against increased environmental regulation. Environmentalists argue that the only solutions to climate change will come from humans interfering less with the Earth, or to stop interfering altogether. In the eyes of many anti-environmentalists, environmentalism is radical and "anti-human".Some anti-environmentalists argue that the Earth is not as fragile as some environmentalists maintain, as Earth maintained itself long before humans arrived, and it will continue to maintain itself long after humans are gone. Another significant argument made by anti-environmentalists is that it is in the interest of the economy, and more specifically job creation, to be anti-environment. Groups which are notoriously anti-environment include oil producers and mining companies.As the nature of anti-environmentalism is a polarizing subject, it has resulted in a variety of conflicts throughout North America, including the Dakota Pipeline in Standing Rock, North Dakota and the Alberta Oil Sands. The Dakota Pipeline, a four-state crude oil pipeline which would transport 470,000 barrels of oil per day from North Dakota to Illinois, evoked backlash from environmentalists, as well as the Indigenous communities residing in South Dakota, primarily the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. These groups had concerns about the ethicality of the pipeline as well as the pollutants the pipeline would release into the water supply of South Dakota inhabitants. Environmentalists had similar complaints regarding the Alberta Oil Sands. Anti-environmentalists argued that the economic benefits that would result from both projects outweigh the negative effects on the environment and these people living in these areas.

Bright green environmentalism

Bright green environmentalism is an ideology based on the belief that the convergence of technological change and social innovation provides the most successful path to sustainable development.

Chipko movement

The Chipko movement or Chipko Andolan was to save trees or conservation of forests in India where people prevent trees from being cut down. It began in April 1973 in Reni village of Chamoli district, Uttarakhand and went on to become a rallying point for many future environmental movements all over the world.It created a precedent for starting of nonviolent protest in India, and its success meant that the world immediately took notice of this non-violent movement, which was to inspire in time many such eco-groups by helping to slow down the rapid deforestation, expose vested interests, increase ecological awareness, and demonstrate the viability of people power. Above all, it stirred up the existing civil society in India, which began to address the issues of tribal and marginalized people.The Chipko Andolan is a movement that practised methods of Satyagraha where both male and female activists from Uttarakhand played vital roles, including Gaura Devi, Suraksha Devi, Sudesha Devi, Bachni Devi and Chandi Prasad Bhatt.

Today, beyond the eco-socialism hue, it is being seen increasingly as an ecofeminism movement. Although many of its leaders were men, women were not only its backbone, but also its mainstay, because they were the ones most affected by the rampant deforestation, which led to a lack of firewood and fodder as well as water for drinking and irrigation. Over the years they also became primary stakeholders in a majority of the afforestation work that happened under the Chipko movement. In 1987, the Chipko movement was awarded the Right Livelihood Award.Chipko-type movements date back to 1730 AD when in Kartikey Kamboj village Prasanna Khamkar of Rajasthan, 363 Bishnois sacrificed their lives to save Khejri trees.

Christian views on environmentalism

Christian views on environmentalism vary among different Christians and Christian denominations.

Major Christian denominations endorse the Biblical calling of our stewardship of God's Creation and our responsibility for its care. Some of this church policy is relatively recent and may not be followed by some parishioners. According to some social science research, conservative Christians and members of the Christian right are typically less concerned about issues of environmentalism than the general public. Many Christians, however, are environmental activists and promote awareness and action at the church, community, and national levels.

Green Christianity is a broad field that encompasses Christian theological reflection on nature, Christian liturgical and spiritual practices centered on environmental issues, as well as Christian-based activism in the environmental movement. Within the activism arena, green Christianity refers to a diverse group of Christians who emphasize the biblical or theological basis for protecting and celebrating the environment. The term indicates not a particular denomination, but a shared territory of concern.

Cultural environmentalism

Cultural environmentalism is the movement that seeks to protect the public domain. The term was coined by James Boyle, professor at Duke University and contributor to the Financial Times.The term stems from Boyle's argument that those who seek to protect the public domain are working towards a similar ends as environmentalists. Boyle's contention is that whereas the environmentalist movement illuminated the effects that social decisions can have upon ecology, cultural environmentalists seek to illuminate the effects that intellectual property laws can have upon culture.

Eco-socialism

Eco-socialism, green socialism or socialist ecology is an ideology merging aspects of socialism with that of green politics, ecology and alter-globalization or anti-globalization. Eco-socialists generally believe that the expansion of the capitalist system is the cause of social exclusion, poverty, war and environmental degradation through globalization and imperialism, under the supervision of repressive states and transnational structures.Eco-socialists advocate dismantling capitalism, focusing on common ownership of the means of production by freely associated producers, and restoring the commons. Caroline Lucas, former leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, has described her party's brand of socialism as appealing to both middle-class environmentalists as well as working-class socialists.

Ecosophy

Ecosophy or ecophilosophy (a portmanteau of ecological philosophy) is a philosophy of ecological harmony or equilibrium. The term was coined by the French post-structuralist philosopher and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari and the Norwegian father of deep ecology, Arne Næss.

Environment of India

The environment of India comprises some of the world's most biodiverse ecozones. The Deccan Traps, Gangetic Plains and the Himalayas are the major geographical features. The country faces different forms of pollution as its major environmental issue and is more vulnerable to the effects of climate change being a developing nation. India has laws protecting the environment and is one of the countries that signed the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) treaty. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and each particular state forest departments plan and implement environmental policies throughout the country.

Environmental movement

The environmental movement (sometimes referred to as the ecology movement), also including conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues. Environmentalists advocate the sustainable management of resources and stewardship of the environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in (not enemy of) ecosystems, the movement is centered on ecology, health, and human rights.

The environmental movement is an international movement, represented by a range of organizations, from the large to grassroots and varies from country to country. Due to its large membership, varying and strong beliefs, and occasionally speculative nature, the environmental movement is not always united in its goals. The movement also encompasses some other movements with a more specific focus, such as the climate movement. At its broadest, the movement includes private citizens, professionals, religious devotees, politicians, scientists, nonprofit organizations and individual advocates.

Environmental movement in the United States

In the United States today, the organized environmental movement is represented by a wide range of organizations sometimes called non-governmental organizations or NGOs. These organizations exist on local, national, and international scales. Environmental NGOs vary widely in political views and in the amount they seek to influence the environmental policy of the United States and other governments. The environmental movement today consists of both large national groups and also many smaller local groups with local concerns. Some resemble the old U.S. conservation movement - whose modern expression is The Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and National Geographic Society - American organizations with a worldwide influence.

Environmentalist

An environmentalist is a supporter of the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities". An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism.

Environmentalists are sometimes referred to using informal or derogatory terms such as "greenie" and "tree-hugger".

Evangelical environmentalism

Evangelical environmentalism is an environmental movement in the United States in which some Evangelical Christians have emphasized biblical mandates concerning humanity's role as steward and subsequent responsibility for the care taking of Creation. While the movement has focused on different environmental issues, it is best known for its focus of addressing climate action from a biblically-grounded theological perspective.

Some Evangelical groups have allied with environmentalists in teaching knowledge and developing awareness of global warming. The National Association of Evangelicals, a nonprofit organization, is working to encourage lawmakers to pass a law that would put restrictions on carbon emissions in the United States.

Free-market environmentalism

Free-market environmentalism argues that the free market, property rights, and tort law provide the best means of preserving the environment, internalizing pollution costs, and conserving resources.

Free-market environmentalists therefore argue that the best way to protect the environment is to clarify and protect property rights. This allows parties to negotiate improvements in environmental quality. It also allows them to use torts to stop environmental harm. If affected parties can compel polluters to compensate them they will reduce or eliminate the externality. Market proponents advocate changes to the legal system that empower affected parties to obtain such compensation. They further claim that governments have limited affected parties' ability to do so by complicating the tort system to benefit producers over others.

Green politics

Green politics (also known as ecopolitics) is a political ideology that aims to create an ecologically sustainable society rooted in environmentalism, nonviolence, social justice and grassroots democracy. It began taking shape in the western world in the 1970s and since then Green parties have developed and established themselves in many countries around the globe and have achieved some electoral success.

The political term Green was used initially in relation to die Grünen (German for "the Greens"), a Green party formed in the late 1970s. The term "political ecology" is sometimes used in academic circles, but in the latter has come to represent an interdisciplinary field of study, as the academic discipline offers wide-ranging studies integrating ecological social sciences with political economy in topics such as degradation and marginalization, environmental conflict, conservation and control and environmental identities and social movements.Supporters of green politics share many ideas with the ecology, conservation, environmentalism, feminism and peace movements. In addition to democracy and ecological issues, green politics is concerned with civil liberties, social justice, nonviolence, sometimes variants of localism and tends to support social progressivism. The party's platform is largely considered left in the political spectrum.

The Green ideology has connections with various other ecocentric political ideologies, including ecosocialism, ecoanarchism and ecofeminism, but to what extent these can be seen as forms of Green politics is a matter of debate.As the left-wing green political philosophy developed, there also came into separate existence unrelated and polar opposite movements on the right that include ecological components such as green conservatism and eco-capitalism.

List of environmental issues

This is an alphabetical list of environmental issues, harmful aspects of human activity on the biophysical environment. They are loosely divided into causes, effects and mitigation, noting that effects are interconnected and can cause new effects.

List of political ideologies

In social studies, a political ideology is a certain set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class or large group that explains how society should work and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Some political parties follow a certain ideology very closely while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. The popularity of an ideology is in part due to the influence of moral entrepreneurs, who sometimes act in their own interests. Political ideologies have two dimensions: (1) goals: how society should be organized; and (2) methods: the most appropriate way to achieve this goal.

An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. democracy or autocracy) and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism or socialism). The same word is sometimes used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, socialism may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system. The same term may also be used to refer to multiple ideologies and that is why political scientists try to find consensus definitions for these terms. For instance, while the terms have been conflated at times communism has come in common parlance and in academics to refer to Soviet-type regimes and Marxist–Leninist ideologies whereas socialism has come to refer to a wider range of differing ideologies which are distinct from Marxism–Leninism. Political ideology is a term fraught with problems, having been called "the most elusive concept in the whole of social science". However, ideologies tend to identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the centre or the right), though this is very often controversial. Finally, ideologies can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g. populism as it is commonly defined) and from single issues around which a party may be built (e.g. opposition to European integration or the legalization of marijuana), although either of these may be central to a particular ideology. There are several studies that show that political ideology is heritable within families.The following list is strictly alphabetical and attempts to divide the ideologies found in practical political life into a number of groups and each group contains ideologies that are related to each other. The headers refer to names of the best-known ideologies in each group. The names of the headers do not necessarily imply some hierarchical order or that one ideology evolved out of the other. They are merely noting that the ideologies in question are practically, historically and ideologically related to each other. One ideology can belong to several groups and there is sometimes considerable overlap between related ideologies. The meaning of a political label can also differ between countries and political parties often subscribe to a combination of ideologies.

Radical environmentalism

Radical environmentalism is a grassroots branch of the larger environmental movement that emerged from an ecocentrism-based frustration with the co-option of mainstream environmentalism. It is the extremist ideology behind the radical environmental movement.

Religion and environmentalism

Religion and environmentalism is an emerging interdisciplinary subfield in the academic disciplines of religious studies, religious ethics, the sociology of religion, and theology amongst others, with environmentalism and ecological principles as a primary focus.

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