Meaning of ENVIRONMENTALISM in English

noun (Environment) Concern with, or support for, the preservation of the environment (see environment°); green politics or consumerism. Etymology: A new sense of environmentalism which also arises directly from the recent use of environment; previously, environmentalism was the name of the psychological theory that it is our environment ('nurture') rather than our inborn nature that determines individual or national character. History and Usage: The term environmentalism was first used in this sense in the US in the early seventies, at a time when the ecology movement was starting to gain some public support, but was still widely considered to be the concern of freaks and hippies. In its early uses, the word therefore had a rather derogatory nuance; this was completely turned round in the late eighties, as green ideas became both acceptable and desirable as a replacement for the conspicuous consumption of the first half of the decade. Environmentalist, which is used both as an adjective and as a noun, has a longer history than environmentalism but has enjoyed the same transformation from negative to positive connotations in the media. Even some politicians on the other side of the trenches felt the need to identify themselves with environmentalism. Sports Illustrated 15 Nov. 1982, p. 24 The kind of environmentalism that is finding favour with Bush and his friends in industry has a new slant, substituting the power of market forces for moral outrage and blanket control measures. Nature 22 June 1989, p. 570 Environmentalism is the new religion for the 'us generation' replacing the 'me generation', according to a report released this week. Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 4 May 1990, p. 50

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