How can you describe environmentalism?
Bosselmann asked if the environment is just a mere good or value to be added to the list of individual demands. He described this as the approach of individual environmental rights. He also asked if the environment is a condition of life that requires limitations to individual freedom. As New Environmentalism was a prominent movement from the 1960s onwards and at its start consisted of preservation and conservation. Nature writers such as Rachel Carson with her work ‘Silent Spring’ places a large emphasis on what humans were doing to the environment and how this had a direct impact on human health and well-being. This sparked greater interest in what damage humans were causing on the ecosystem. A result of this was a recognition of the relationship between the natural environment and social issues/politics. New Environmentalism politicalized the ecosystem; this is evident as throughout this essay I will be exploring the changes New Environmentalism led to politics and the dialogue it created globally. From this it is evident to see that New Environmentalism was fundamentally anthropocentric, this is indicated in its application and from the creation of environmental, human rights. Humans were put above all other living organisms, the human need, desire, and satisfaction.
On the other hand, the consideration of limitations in ecology to human rights is a new concept, with its implementation yet to be considered anywhere and also requiring some definition. “It refers to the fact that individual freedom is not only determined by a social context – the social dimension of human rights-, but also by an ecological context” A critical look into the definition shows that in terms of ethics, how we understand the anthropocentric and utilitarian aspects of human rights “would be complemented or replaced by an eco-centric understanding which holds that the natural environment has intrinsic value, not just instrumental value”. Thus, meaning that environmentalism is not overly or fully anthropocentric but also requires the consideration of the inherent value of the natural environment.