To talk about environmentalism it is very important to have a background about where the idea came from, and we can do this talking about two environmental conferences, afterwards there will be some definitions followed by the differences found inside the ideology and then we conclude explaining what environmentalism as an ideology is.
In 1972 theUnited Nations Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm it was the UN first major Conference on international environmental issues and marked an important point in international environmental policies. This meeting produced a declaration with 26 principles concerning environment and development. The main issue addressed in this Conference was the depletion of the ozone layer.Twenty years later, the Earth Summit was gathered in Rio de Janeiro. The main issues addressed in this conference were the systematic analyze of patterns of production, alternative sources of energy, the new dependence on public transportation systems and the continuous lost of water resources.
The main achievements of this conference were the three Rio Conventions (UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol,the CBD and the UNCCD) and the Agenda 21 which includes the main points for sustainable development.
A general definition for environmentalism is the concern for natural environment, for nature conservation or an improvement of the state of the environment. However Donald Gibson gives a more complete definition in his book Environmentalism Ideology and Power where he describes it as “a politicaldoctrine. It is an expression of the world view of certain groups.” “Environmentalism is a political expression of upper class fears about progress”. It is a social movement that aims to persuade the political process in order to protect nature, taking into account humanity as a part of the ecosystems.
In a speech in 2007, President Klaus of the Check Republic says that Environmentalismdoes not belong to natural sciences like ecology does, and this is why it can be cataloged as an ideology because it covers a lot of issues that are related to economics and human activities.
Talking about environmentalism as an ideology we can divided into two main categories: the radical and the reformist approach.
The radical approach is what is usually called as the dark green or deepenvironmentalism. The radical greens see economic growth as incompatible with environmental protection, they believe that there are natural limits to growth, and if production, consumption and population are not controlled the economy and the political order will suffer a fall down.
The radical approach is centered on nature it is Ecocentric, this explains that non human nature also has intrinsicvalues as well as human nature. However this believe is very hard to justify because you can not demonstrate the feelings of non human nature, and how they are important to themselves.
For example you know when somebody is happy or in pain because humans can express this feelings, but you can’t notice if it hurts to a river when a can has been thrown at it, you can se it is polluting but theriver is not going to cry or say anything to demonstrate that it is hurting.
Concerning political thoughts radicals argue that it is totally necessary to have a total political and social change because they say that in the society that we are living in, environmentalism is not possible, this is why they came up with two different options to change actual political structures.
In the firstoption they talk about having one strong state that directs the whole world so that provisions are supplied by an equal form and in the sufficient quantities, this comes from what we can call authoritarianism current, and the radicals say that this is necessary because people don’t know how to administrate environmental resources. The second option is to have little self sufficient communities...