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Environmentalism Ecologism
Do not believe society needs Propose fundamental change in society
fundamental transformation as the and humans relationship with nature
relationship between humans and nature
does not need a huge change
Humans seen as the most important Humans are one part of the natural
element of the natural world world but not the most important
Economic growth can continue as long Rejects materialism as economic growth
as it is sustainable as it's not needed for human happiness
Protection of the environment is Protection of the environment is
necessary to ensure continuation of necessary for its own sake
The main difference with the two is that ecologism can be seen as a
fundamental belief and ideology whereas a liberal or conservative can also
be associated with environmentalism.…read more

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Anthropocentrism = ecologists reject humans having a special status whereas
environmentalists argue that this approach in the long term has a negative effect
on humanity due to the destruction of food etc.
Quality of life = modern capitalism assumes that the more possessions you have,
the better off you are but both environmentalists and ecologists reject this view as
it leads to destruction of resources (e.g. the ideas of getting a new phone every
year leads to waste disposal)
Sustainability = "spaceship earth" idea that we shall try and use up resources more
slowly. For ecologists we have to fundamentally change our lifestyle but for
environmentalists it is possible to achieve economic growth as long as it is
Anti-industrialisation = environmentalists argue that there should be limits and
controls through laws to restrict pollution, this disagrees with both left and right
Holism = natural world can only be understood as a complete whole and not
individual parts so humans should respect inter-connecting and all of the planet.…read more

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Shallow ecology = Humanistic approach, which essentially uses the
environment to further humans needs and ends, plants and animals
have instrumental value, light green and reformers.
Deep ecology = Arne Naess, every being has intrinsic value and is not
human centred. Can be associated with dark greens and
revolutionaries. Propose radical change such as significantly reduce the
population and live in small self-reliant communities.
Eco-socialism = Generally believe that the expansion of the
capitalism system is the cause of environmental issues, there is an
eco-socialist party in the US…read more

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There are many pressure groups in Britain in aid of environmental issues
such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Plane Stupid and Earth First.
The 2006 stern report suggested that Global Warming could shrink
economy by just 20% if we take action now.. It would also just cost 1% of
our GDP.
2007 report by inter-government panel on Climate Change, a scientific
body showed that climate change was `very likely' to have been caused by
human activity and emphasised the seriousness of problems.
Although environmental issues remain on people's lists of concern, they
are not normally high and rarely influence voting behaviour. Political parties
are aware of this so do not usually consider the environment as a high
The Green Party has failed to gain a significant hold in British politics
which is largely due to the voting system. (FPTP)…read more

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Until the 1960s, the environment scarcely appeared at all on the political
1956 ­ Clean Air Act
1968 ­ Clean Air Act ­ both applied to household and industry and took
measures to reduce air pollution
1974 ­ Control of Pollution Act ­ made a further step as it was concerned with a
wider variety of pollution
By the late 1970s, a larger amount of scientific evidence was emerging and was
visible making environmental concerns closer to the centre.
1987 ­ Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) was set up to be the first
national organisation to deal with environmental matters
1988 ­ Thatcher made a landmark speech acknowledging global warming.…read more

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Old Sir

Students looking for a resource which offers linkage to the issues of environmentalism and ecology in the UK and EU will find this useful. It is concise and might provide a good starting point for students who intend to look more deeply for evidence / case studies of policies and legislation that will inform any discussion of the impact of environmentalism on contemporary politics.

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