Environmentalism is a movement that is concerned with environmental issues, the relationships of living beings with the environment and the various environmental problems generated by our current society. Even within the environmental movement there are different branches: there are those who criticize the current economic system, who would reformulate it paying more attention to environmental issues, etc.
Multiple factors have helped to establish the state of awareness on environmental issues and the environmental movement . One of the novels that contributed to the development of this was The Jungle by journalist Upton Sinclair, from 1908, where he described some of the unsanitary methods used in slaughterhouses and from which federal laws on food inspection were enacted. This was followed by others such as Sand County Almanac (almanac of the sandy county) of the year 1948 by Aldo Leopold, where he spoke of the relationship between man and the biosphere. Later, in 1962, Silent Spring was published, where Rachel Carson spoke about the effects of using pesticides. The publication of these three novels has been very important for the development of environmentalism and its postulates are still defended by environmentalists .
However, being an ecologist is not the same as being an ecologist . The ecologist is the scientist who is dedicated to the study of ecology and its branches , to the study of natural systems, while the ecologist is the citizen who is interested , more or less vehemently, in environmental issues. It is similar to the difference between a political scientist and a politician. This difference between ecologist and ecologist can sometimes be confused, although logically the coincidence of both can occur in the same person.
Green capitalism or democratic environmentalism
This tendency defends that the objectives of our capitalist system (development and economic growth) should not intersect with environmental interests , since in this way, we go against our own human interests.
The premise of this movement of democratic environmentalism or green capitalism is that who pollutes, pays. This movement can be seen in some parts of the Kyoto protocol and in some preservationist and conservationist organizations, who promote the preservation of areas untouched by human beings.
It is a movement a little tougher than democratic environmentalism. These ecologists consider that the changes must transcend public and private reforms and be situated in the responsibility of citizens as consumers and in environmental education .
The reformist environmentalists believe that issues such as responsible consumption, animal welfare or reduction of natural resources, are worrying in terms of human interests. Companies that are involved in caring for the environment and humanitarian aid and social justice causes (such as ecological banks, large transnational companies that support refugees from conflict zones, AIDS patients, etc.) are encouraged.
Unlike the previous ones, ecosocialism considers the current capitalist system as responsible for the global ecological crisis and identifies as one of the main problems in which the man in today’s society permanently consumes thousands of resources that he does not need, giving himself the problem of overexploitation of natural resources .
This movement tells us that natural resources are not infinite and it would be advisable to redefine consumption priorities worldwide to limit ourselves, in opposition to the accumulation of goods and resources imposed by the current capitalist system. The Ecosocialist Manifesto was published in 2001 and you can also consider ecofeminism as part of this movement. Thus, ecosocialism considers that it is necessary to reformulate the relationships between societies, people and the environment , promoting the development of ecologically sustainable communities and dispensing with the figure of a world superpower (both economic and cultural).
It is the most radical environmental movement. It encourages a complete change in consumer habits , economic-productive transformations and planetary awareness. Within this movement, we can find deep ecology , which considers the human being as part of the natural cosmos in which there is a biocentric equality between the different living systems on Earth (man, animals, landscapes and ecosystems) . Deep ecology promulgates that human beings must respect the intrinsic value of other entities in the world.