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In this study we try to explore the concept of Environmentalism in a holistic context. The main focus of the research is on Environmentalism and its relation with Environmental Ethics. The research also analyzes many aspects of Environmentalism and tries to gauge its effect on Environmental Ethics.

Table of Contents



The Environmental Crisis4

Environmentalism Today5

Ethics in Environmentalism8


Works Cited10



Environmentalism refers to a collective set of perspectives and actions that together represent an approach (rather than a single movement) to the environment. This article explores environmentalism by examining its origins, varying definitions, development, and manifestations and demonstrates how environmentalism is developing in society today.

Unlike many other terms with the ending “-ism,” environmentalism is neither conceptually coherent nor manifested in a discrete movement. Indeed, there is no definitive time at which we can determine its origin. This imprecise nature of the term reflects the subject matter of environmentalism, which is concerned with our relation to and interpretation of the natural environment. Accordingly, the first major issue that scholars have tackled is how society-nature relations have come to be represented in something termed environmentalism. To adequately address this point, we need to explore the varying social interpretations of nature and how these have evolved over time. For example, scholars have argued that in preindustrial societies, nature was and is often set in contrast and opposition to civilized society, being feared, worshipped, or marginalized. The notion of nature as the “other” is important and helps us to appreciate that the resources postindustrial societies regard as aesthetically valuable, such as wilderness, have often been portrayed as valueless or only of limited value by other societies (Young, 110).

Accordingly, society's interpretation of the natural environment has and is constantly evolving, and there is a significant body of scholarship that has explored both the history of society-nature relations and contemporary understandings of these relationships. Indeed, this scholarship illustrates the varying ways in which former societies and cultures have both used and abused natural resources for their development. Overall, this scholarship points to one critical conclusion, which posits that the environment is socially constructed and mobilized by societies at particular points in their development within a wider social context. However, to explicitly define the term environmentalism , we need to look to a pro environmental or environment-centered perspective; it is generally accepted that the modern forms of environmentalism began to emerge in the middle of the 20th century in developed nations, although we should be cautious in asserting that this is when individuals or communities started to “care” for their environments, as it is likely that preindustrial societies were and are considerably more environmentally sustainable than industrial societies.

The Environmental Crisis

If we take the development of modern environmentalism in developed nations as a convenient starting point, then what we know today as environmentalism emerged from several events that occurred during the 1960s in a period termed the environmental crisis. Although these events are unconnected, they had a major effect on Western society's perspective on the environment. Indeed, it is interesting to note that early ...
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