Environmentalism can be defined as the combined effort of advocating for or working at protecting the natural environment from destructive practices such like pollution and depletion. Environmentalists are people who are concerned with the quality of the environment. The fact that the quality of the natural environment is being challenged is indisputable. 99% of the problems in the environment are as a result of human indifference. In his article, John Meyer (2001) outlines the slack commitment that human have towards environmental values. He further explains the argument that the current environmental problems are orchestrated by the dominant mechanistic model which should rather be replaced by the ecological model.
The thought on environmentalism has undergone dynamic changes which regard to perception from various groups of environmentalists. Everyone on the earth surface has a mandate to participate in bringing to a halt the current environmental crisis. Environmentalists agree that we can help to conserve the environment by identifying and protecting the natural scope both for our current civic health and that of the future generations. The first wave of environmentalists, who were termed as conservatives, aimed at isolating specific areas for preservation (Woodhouse, 2009, pp. 56). However, this has been revolutionized to encompass the entire ecosystem.
As John Meyer explains, the onset of 20th century saw many environmentalists become political activists. Their main objective, in collaboration with the government as well as private sectors, was to identify potential sources of environmental degradation and help in curbing the damage on environment. Also known as environmental activism, this wave of environmentalists helped in overturning various activities that were damaging key environmental resources (Meyer 2001, pp.125). This wave of environmentalism resulted into the formation of various regulatory bodies such as Environmental Protection Body. The major slogan of the environmentalist in this era was “impede the ruin and damage”. This wave of environmentalism has greatly supplemented the 19th century vision of conservation.
Biophilia is the intrinsic consciousness about natural environment. Nature helps to constitute who we are. This implies that everyone has a mandate the make the environment a better place to live in. in other words, the need to respect nature should be an innate desire in all. The domination of mechanistic model of nature has indeed deprived the environment of its original beauty. The theory of dualism which seeks to separate human from nature is very detrimental to the well being of the environment (McCormick, 1995, pp 312). It gives human beings the authority to do anything in the environment irrespective of whether it is destructive.
The third wave of environmentalism involves restoration and co-creation. This is based on the current environmental problems which can be traced from human indifference. It is a 21st century movement whose aim to help restore the environment by reversing the destructive human activities. The environmentalists in the 21st century are geared towards repairing the damaged ecosystem so as to create a sustainable community for the future generations. They are most driven by the current effect of global warming which is blamed on the theory of dualism that seeks to separate human from nature. John Meyer outlines that industries, companies, and government still bears the responsibility of allowing environmental degradation to continue under the cover of capitalism, organic statism, progressivism, and liberal democracy (Meyer, 2001 pp. 125). He further explains that the society has a collective responsibility of changing their ways in order to provide both personal and political solutions to the current environmental crisis.
The environmentalists that advocate for restoration and co-creation are not only concerned with curbing the environmental damage but also creating workable solutions to these challenges.