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International Environmental Movements

  • By: Hein-Anton van der Heijden
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

International environmental movements are social movements that contest, at an international and sometimes global scale, different kinds of global environmental degradation. They try to show that this degradation is largely the result of current patterns of production, consumption, transportation, and energy use and, more generally, the prevailing organization of social life and the present international economic and political order. In arguing that global environmental degradation is one of the “routine consequences of modernity,” many international environmental movements challenge the very basis of modern society. International environmental movements are important because they define problems, propose solution strategies, and raise social consciousness with respect to global environmental problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, deforestation, and desertification.

This entry describes the origin and development of international environmental movements, ...

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