What is Environmentalism?
Environmentalism refers to the advocacy for restoration, preservation and improvement of the earth’s natural environment, more so with an aim of controlling pollution. It is a philosophy that planet Earth should be viewed as a ship that is at the center of an ocean where, if there is a fire outbreak, humans should put their efforts towards putting that fire out because they do not have another place to run to. Environmentalism is also a theory whose perception of the environment is that of a vital factor for development, especially intellectual and cultural development of a group or individuals. It can also be seen as an ethical and political movement that aims at improving and protecting the natural environment’s quality via changes of the environmentally harmful activities by humans.
What led to the emergence of environmentalism?
This term was coined for the first time in 1922 to denote a social movement whose aim was to influence political processes through activism, education and lobbying with an aim of protecting the ecosystems and natural resources. In the 1960s and the beginning of 70s, there were pessimistic environmental visions. These reflected the pervasive “civilization malaise” sense as well as the conviction that the long-term prospects of earth were bleak. Nevertheless, towards the end of the 1970s, more environmentalists emerged attempting to develop more strategies that would limit environmental degradation via recycling as well as using what was called “emancipatory” environmental ideas. These had a more practical and positive approach and they included aspects like those of promoting ecological consciousness as well as environmental “stewardship” ethic. These were aimed at the establishment of a clean and safe environment for humans.
Why it is important
This ideology or environmental movement is important for various reasons which are simply its causes.
They include the following:
- Reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases or global warming mitigation such as through activities like promotion of mass transit.
- Promotion of vegan or vegetarian diets because they are environmentally friendly since meat is energy intensive and it emits more greenhouse gases.
- Reduction of chemical pollution through agriculture and manufacturing.
- Creation of more sanctuaries for the wildlife to prevent extinction while conserving the existing ones.
- Protecting the endangered species.
- Opposing more use of the fossil fuels.
- Encouraging better practices for municipal and industrial waste management.
How environmentalism is depicted
There are different movements that depict this philosophy that is aimed at protecting or preserving the environment.
- Free market
The argument of this movement or theory is that a free market, tort law and property rights offer the ideal tools for preserving environmental sustainability and health. The theory considers stewardship as natural and the expulsion of aggressors like polluters via class or individual action. Many conservatives and libertarians have supported this theory.
This is an environmental movement via which evangelicals emphasize the biblical mandates about the role of humanity as the steward and the subsequent responsibility in taking care of the Creation. Although the focus of this movement has been on different issues that affect the environment, it is popular for focusing on climate action on the biblical basis from a theological perspective. The argument of the Evangelical Climate Initiative is that changes in climate that are induced by humans will pose severe impact and consequences especially on the poor and that the mandate that God gave Adam was to take care of the Garden of Eden and this applies to modern evangelicals. Thus, working towards mitigating the impacts of the climate and supporting communities to adapt to change is a moral obligation.
- Conservation movement
Environmental conservation is considered as setting natural resources aside to prevent them from being damaged by contact with the humans or some activities by humans. Such activities include mining, logging, fishing and hunting. Laws and regulations can be established to ensure that natural resources are preserved or conserved.
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