An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities". An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...


Most politically inclined environmentalists identify themselves as greens
Greens may refer to:*Leaf vegetables such as collard greens, mustard greens, spring greens, winter greens, spinach, etc.-Politics:Supranational* Green politics* Green party, political parties adhering to Green politics* Global Greens...

 and they have strong views on issues that concern the environment. The Green Parties
Worldwide green parties
A Green party or ecologist party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of Green politics. These principles usually include social justice, reliance on grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and an emphasis on environmentalism...

 are generally applied to those in the environmental movement
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

 working as volunteers, activists or paid staff. However, the term could also be applied to environmental scientists
Environmental science
Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical and biological sciences, to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems...

. Some environmentalists are also green anarchists
Green anarchism
Green anarchism, or ecoanarchism, is a school of thought within anarchism which puts a particular emphasis on environmental issues. An important early influence was the thought of the American anarchist Henry David Thoreau and his book Walden...

, arguing that true environmental change cannot occur under the present economic model. Others are eco-socialists
Eco-socialism, green socialism or socialist ecology is an ideology merging aspects of Marxism, socialism, green politics, ecology and alter-globalization...

, who combine Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

, socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and ecology
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living organisms have with respect to each other and their natural environment. Variables of interest to ecologists include the composition, distribution, amount , number, and changing states of organisms within and among ecosystems...

 with environmentalism to produce an anti-capitalist
Anti-capitalism describes a wide variety of movements, ideas, and attitudes which oppose capitalism. Anti-capitalists, in the strict sense of the word, are those who wish to completely replace capitalism with another system....

 ideology that sees capitalism as the cause of environmental problems, social injustice and inequality.

Typically, environmentalists have conservationist
Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

 views - in general, they advocate for the preservation, restoration, or enhancement of the natural environment
Natural environment
The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth or some region thereof. It is an environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species....


Environmentalists are sometimes given names in an informal or derogatory context such as the terms "greenie" and "tree-hugger".

Notable environmentalists

Some of the notable environmentalists who have been active in lobbying for environmental protection
Environmental protection
Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or governmental level, for the benefit of the natural environment and humans. Due to the pressures of population and our technology the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently...

  • Edward Abbey
    Edward Abbey
    Edward Paul Abbey was an American author and essayist noted for his advocacy of environmental issues, criticism of public land policies, and anarchist political views. His best-known works include the novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, which has been cited as an inspiration by radical environmental...

     (writer, activist, philosopher)
  • Ansel Adams
    Ansel Adams
    Ansel Easton Adams was an American photographer and environmentalist, best known for his black-and-white photographs of the American West, especially in Yosemite National Park....

     (photographer, writer, activist)
  • David Attenborough
    David Attenborough
    Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM, CH, CVO, CBE, FRS, FZS, FSA is a British broadcaster and naturalist. His career as the face and voice of natural history programmes has endured for more than 50 years...

     (broadcaster, naturalist)
  • John James Audubon
    John James Audubon
    John James Audubon was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats...

  • David Bellamy
    David Bellamy
    David James Bellamy OBE is a British author, broadcaster, environmental campaigner and botanist. He has lived in County Durham since 1960.-Career:...

  • Wendell Berry
    Wendell Berry
    Wendell Berry is an American man of letters, academic, cultural and economic critic, and farmer. He is a prolific author of novels, short stories, poems, and essays...

     (farmer, philosopher)
  • David Brower (writer, activist)
  • Lester Brown
  • Rachel Carson
    Rachel Carson
    Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement....

     (biologist, writer)
  • Prince Charles
    Charles, Prince of Wales
    Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

  • Jacques-Yves Cousteau
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau
    Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a French naval officer, explorer, ecologist, filmmaker, innovator, scientist, photographer, author and researcher who studied the sea and all forms of life in water...

     (explorer, ecologist)
  • René Dubos
    René Dubos
    René Jules Dubos was a French-born American microbiologist, experimental pathologist, environmentalist, humanist, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for his book So Human An Animal. He is credited as an author of a maxim "Think globally, act locally"...

  • Peter Garrett
    Peter Garrett
    Peter Robert Garrett, AM, MP , is an Australian musician, environmentalist, activist and politician.Garrett was lead singer of the Australian rock band Midnight Oil from 1973 until its disbanding in 2002...

     (musician, politician)
  • Al Gore
    Al Gore
    Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

     (former Vice President of the United States
    Vice President of the United States
    The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

  • James Hansen
    James Hansen
    James E. Hansen heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, a part of the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has held this position since 1981...

  • Anne LaBastille
    Anne LaBastille
    Anne LaBastille was an American author and ecologist. She was the author of more than a dozen books, including Woodswoman, Beyond Black Bear Lake, Woodswoman III, Woodswoman IIII, Assignment:Wildlife, and Women of the Wilderness. She also wrote more than 150 popular articles and over 25 scientific...

     (writer, scientist)
  • Aldo Leopold
    Aldo Leopold
    Aldo Leopold was an American author, scientist, ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. He was a professor at the University of Wisconsin and is best known for his book A Sand County Almanac , which has sold over two million copies...

  • James Lovelock
    James Lovelock
    James Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist who lives in Devon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling...

  • Amory Lovins
    Amory Lovins
    Amory Bloch Lovins is an American environmental scientist and writer, Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute. He has worked in the field of energy policy and related areas for four decades...

  • George Perkins Marsh
    George Perkins Marsh
    George Perkins Marsh , an American diplomat and philologist, is considered by some to be America's first environmentalist, although "conservationist" would be more accurate...

  • Bill McKibben
    Bill McKibben
    William Ernest "Bill" McKibben is an American environmentalist, author, and journalist who has written extensively on the impact of global warming. He is the Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College...

     (writer, activist)
  • Chico Mendes
    Chico Mendes
    Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, better known as Chico Mendes , was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist. He fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples...

  • George Monbiot
    George Monbiot
    George Joshua Richard Monbiot is an English writer, known for his environmental and political activism. He lives in Machynlleth, Wales, writes a weekly column for The Guardian, and is the author of a number of books, including Captive State: The Corporate Takeover of Britain and Bring on the...

  • John Muir
    John Muir
    John Muir was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books telling of his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California, have been read by millions...

     (naturalist, activist)
  • Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader
    Ralph Nader is an American political activist, as well as an author, lecturer, and attorney. Areas of particular concern to Nader include consumer protection, humanitarianism, environmentalism, and democratic government....

  • Gaylord Nelson
    Gaylord Nelson
    Gaylord Anton Nelson was an American politician from Wisconsin who served as a United States Senator and governor. A Democrat, he was the principal founder of Earth Day.-Public service and leadership:...

  • Jonathon Porritt
    Jonathon Porritt
    Jonathon Espie Porritt, CBE, is an English environmentalist and writer. Porritt appears frequently in the media, writing in magazines, newspapers and books, and appearing on radio and television regularly.-Early life and family background:...

  • E. F. Schumacher
    E. F. Schumacher
    Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher was an internationally influential economic thinker, statistician and economist in Britain, serving as Chief Economic Advisor to the UK National Coal Board for two decades. His ideas became popularized in much of the English-speaking world during the 1970s...

  • David Suzuki
    David Suzuki
    David Suzuki, CC, OBC is a Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist. Suzuki earned a Ph.D in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961, and was a professor in the genetics department of the University of British Columbia from 1963 until his retirement in 2001...

     (scientist, broadcaster)
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry David Thoreau
    Henry David Thoreau was an American author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, and leading transcendentalist...

     (writer, philosopher)
  • Paul Watson
    Paul Watson
    Paul Watson is a Canadian animal rights and environmental activist, who founded and is president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a direct action group devoted to marine conservation....

     (activist and lecturer)

See also

  • Environmentalism
    Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

  • Conservationist
    Conservationists are proponents or advocates of conservation. They advocate for the protection of all the species in an ecosystem with a strong focus on the natural environment...

    • Conservation movement
      Conservation movement
      The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental and a social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including animal, fungus and plant species as well as their habitat for the future....

    • Conservation ethic
      Conservation ethic
      Conservation is an ethic of resource use, allocation, and protection. Its primary focus is upon maintaining the health of the natural world: its, fisheries, habitats, and biological diversity. Secondary focus is on materials conservation and energy conservation, which are seen as important to...

    • Ecology movement
      Ecology movement
      The global ecology movement is based upon environmental protection, and is one of several new social movements that emerged at the end of the 1960s. As a values-driven social movement, it should be distinguished from the pre-existing science of ecology....

  • Green libertarianism
    Green libertarianism
    Green Libertarianism is a hybrid political philosophy that has developed in the United States. Based upon a mixture of political third party values, such as the environmental platform from the Green Party and the civil liberties platform of the Libertarian Party, the green libertarian philosophy...

External links

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