Environmentalism(s)

The three main currents of environmentalism could be named as the Cult of Wilderness, the Gospel of Eco-Efficiency, and the Mantra of Environmental Justice (together with the Environmentalism of the Poor). The religious overtones are justified by the fervor with which the faithful defend their own positions. Those currents are as three big branches of a single tree or three cross-cutting streams of the same river. There are many possibilities of collaboration among them, but there are also substantial cleavages.

If one goes to the World Conservation Congresses that take place every two years, organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), one hears the words “we the world environmental movement” or, synonymously, “we the world nature conservation movement.” This is the core of the first current of environmentalism. In terms of the human and economic resources available, this movement is indeed large. Historically, since the nineteenth …

This essay may be found on page 97 of the printed volume.

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