Full Text

Ecological protest movements

Paul Rubinson


Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place World

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics ecology, movements, rebellion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405197953.2009.00500.x


Extract

Observers and activists often describe environmentalism as the world's largest social movement. Part of the movement's popularity comes from its fairly mainstream goals, as politicians and voters alike easily approve of the notion of keeping the planet sustainable for future generations. At the same time, much support for environmentalism takes the form of vague statements of principle, with little actual restriction of industrial and public destruction of the environment and its ecosystems. Typically, mainstream environmentalists in the West push for legislation protecting certain areas and species, incremental measures that seem small compared to the ecological crisis that confronts the planet. A different segment of protesters put the environment at the direct center of human concerns. Adherents of the environmental justice movement (EJM) see the state of the environment as central to human well-being, as important as civil rights or equal protection under the law. Meanwhile, on the fringes of the environmental movement are those activists who see humans as responsible for the ecological crisis that threatens the well-being of humans, animals, and plant life on earth. These protesters embrace radical activism to overthrow human exploitation of the planet. Both approaches have redefined the environment as central to human existence, rather than merely one issue among many. But ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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