Our environment is one of the most important thing to human well-being and to our survival, given the fact that it is what sustains us by providing food, water and all the things we need in order to survive. Over centuries and as time changes, people started to make use of the natural resources and create products that they wanted and in the process of doing this it caused the environment to become polluted and deteriorated. Once it became evident that we, the residents of this world were the ones destroying the environment, the idea of environmentalism was born. According to Earth governance, environmentalism refers to a social movement and associated body of thought that expresses concern for the state of the natural environment and seeks to limit the impact of human activities on the environment (Environmentalism explained, Fidelman, 2010). This is the ideology that we should actively help to preserve, improve or restore our environment by conserving, decrease pollution and do whatever we can to prevent the adverse and negative effects on our planet. This ideology has proven to be somewhat complex and has developed tension and arguments among it’s advocates (Grigsby, 2015). This ideology is rooted in the natural sciences but is also stems from a political objective, and for those who advocated for the protection of our environment were considered elitists.
Over the centuries as our society evolved and grew, we experienced growth through the Industrial Revolution, many pioneers of the environment came about and made their marks. People such as Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), John Muir (1838-1914), William Hornaday (1854-1937), Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) and Rachel Carson who’s 1962 book galvanized the environmental movement and raised awareness of the environmental destruction from products we used every day, this soon led to the establishment of the US Environment Protection Agency in 1970 ( A Brief History, Reynolds, n.d) These individuals were all part of a movement the grew and continues today in the effort to bring information that can help to change the trajectory of where the damage to our environment is heading.
The goal of environmentalism is to minimize the damage we have created to our planet through, in other words, we humans are responsible to act as ecological stewards, which is to promote sustainable development designed to use natural resources in a manner that neither depletes or destroy our ecosystem (Grigsby, 2015).
I believe that environmentalism wants to achieve security, both from a social and an economical position. From an economical point there are businesses who provide supplies for consumers who support the idea of protecting the environment, in fact environmentalism can actually strengthen and support business and if there is an increase in demand, businesses will supply more and profit will increase giving more firms incentives to enter the market (The Economics, Schmidt, 2017).
Like most ideologies environmentalism has different prospective, giving us what most see a moderate form which can also be seen as neoliberal which focuses on the assumption that human welfare is aligned with the economical growth, consumption and corporate pursuit of profits (Environmentalism, Fidelman 2010). On the other hand, there is the radical aspect of this movement where the environmentalists take on a more active role at times can be seen as breaking laws by being involved civil disobedience and even sabotage, but even so, not all engage in illegal activities, these environmentalists find themselves in one of three groups, Greens, the deep ecologists and the animal rights movement. Although there is the perception that the environment is the priority, this may not be the case for some of these individuals who find that this is an easy way to make money as well as to promote a political agenda.
The environment has always been a way for man to live in a sustainable manner, but due to our ever-changing way of living, where we exhaust the earths resources to meet our personal needs, this has created a dilemma. Environmentalism is way to refocus on how we can undo some of the damages that we have created by following in the footsteps of some of the world’s finest environmentalists. Although we find many people who have the desire to advocate for change, there are those who may break laws in order to call attention to their cause. We must remember, there is only one earth and after we are all gone, it will still be here.
Environmentalism explained, Earth Governance, Pedro Fidelman, 2010, Retrieved July 2018 from http://earthgovernance.org/environmentalism-explained/
A Brief History of Environmentalism, Andy Reynolds, n.d. retrieved July 2018 from www.public.iastate.edu/~sws/…/HistoryofEnvironmentalism.doc
The Economics of Environmentalism, Natalie Schmidt, The Huffington Post, March 2017, Retrieved July 2018 from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-economics-of-environmentalism_us
Grigsby, E. (2015). Analyzing Politics: An Introduction to Political Science (6thed.). Australia: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.