Political Ecology Essay

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Chapter 1 1. Introduction to Key Concepts 2.1. Environmentalism This section will introduce you to the two categories of environmentalism namely ‘deep ecology’ and ‘shallow ecology’. These two movements in environmentalism are general classifications of environmental scholarship, policy and advocacy in the world. Firstly we would like to examine what is environment? The roots of the term lie in the French word environ which means ‘to surround’, ‘to envelope’, ‘to enclose’ (Barry, 2002). Einstein once defined environment as ‘anything that is not me’. This means that human surroundings constitute the environment. This creates the impression that environment is the non-human world often referred to as nature. Thus, environmentalism would be an understanding and advocacy for that which is beneficiary to the environment. Although this course will not focus on the history of environmental science it is important to mention that Egyptians arguably developed the first scientific attempts around 640-546 BC. These were however crowded in mythology and magical explanations. This course will concern itself to the understanding of environmentalism as it relates to the nineteenth century onwards. This will be referred to as contemporary environmentalism It was the great upsurge in the mid 1960’s of popular concern about environmental pollution and the depletion of natural resources that gave birth, to the contemporary environmental movement. When it became clear that environmentalism was not going to disappear, according to Milton (1996) scientists were faced with the problem of how to characterize it. Literature attempting to characterise environmentalism has formed the nexus of a debate within sciences about the nature of environmentalism. Some ecological philosophers and ecologists refer to a cleavage within environmentalism movement, however others like Milton

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