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 , ecology combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism. Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and 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.
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 colour green ,  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. 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 behaviour.
History of U.S. Environmentalism
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 organisations seek to give the natural world a stronger voice in human affairs.
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 behaviour. In its recognition of humanity as a participant in ecosystems, the movement is centered around ecology , health , and human rights.
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. His teachings on the symbiosis between all living beings and the five elements—earth, water, air, fire, and space—form the basis of environmental sciences today.
Timeline of history of environmentalism
In Europe, King Edward I of England banned the burning of sea-coal by proclamation in London in , after its smoke had become a problem. Earlier in the Middle East, the Caliph Abu Bakr in the s 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. 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.
At the advent of steam and electricity the muse of history holds her nose and shuts her eyes H.
History of environmentalism pdf download
Wells 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 the large volume of industrial chemical discharges added to the growing load of untreated human waste. 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 which placed all major heavy industries that emitted smoke , grit, dust and fumes under supervision.
In industrial cities local experts and reformers, especially after , took the lead in identifying environmental degradation and pollution, and initiating grass-roots movements to demand and achieve reforms. 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 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 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 naturist communities.
It was, however, only under the impetus of the Great Smog of in London, which almost brought the city to a standstill and may have caused upward of 6, deaths that the Clean Air Act 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.
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. 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 and 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 as the first nature protection law in the world.
Early interest in the environment was a feature of the Romantic movement in the early 19th century. One of the earliest modern pronouncements on thinking about human industrial advancement and its influence on the environment was written by Japanese geographer, educator, philosopher and author Tsunesaburo Makiguchi in his publication Jinsei Chirigaku A Geography of Human Life. 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 s, which was a reaction to industrialisation , the growth of cities, and worsening air and water pollution.
Starting with the formation of the Commons Preservation Society in , 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.
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. In 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 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.
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. 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. These ideas also inspired various environmental groups in the UK, such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds , established in by Emily Williamson as a protest group to campaign for greater protection for the indigenous birds of the island.
By , public support for the organisation had grown, and it had over 25, 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.
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 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 popularise their concerns.
The Forestry Commission was set up in 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. By the Forestry Commission was the largest landowner in Britain. During the s the Nazis had elements that were supportive of animal rights, zoos and wildlife,  and took several measures to ensure their protection.
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.
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 s, s, s and beyond, photography was used to enhance public awareness of the need for protecting land and recruiting members to environmental organisations.
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.
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 galvanised 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 s and s, 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.
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.
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 organisations such as the Wyoming Outdoor Council , which was founded in In the s, the environmental movement gained rapid speed around the world as a productive outgrowth of the counterculture movement.
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. Protection of the environment also became important in the developing world ; the Chipko movement was formed in India under the influence of Mhatmas 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 21 March , the first day of spring.
It was created to give awareness to environmental issues. On 21 March , 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 ,  and is celebrated in more than countries every year. 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 5—16 June It marked a turning point in the development of international environmental politics.
By the mids, 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 and the formation of CITES in