Is the Green Movement a Possible Answer to Environmental Problems?
In her book, ‘Ideas and actions in the green movement’, Doherty defines Green movement as the term that has been used by organizations that engage in protecting the environment from pollution. The green movements have been in various forms. They include non-governmental organizations and political parties that are formed based on protecting the environment. Therefore, the fight against environmental damage has been done in form of social and political movements. The green movement organizations have engaged in activities that include promotion of products that are friendly to the environment. The movement’s aims and goals also include social justice, democratic practices, enhancing global security through promoting non-violence activities, sustainability and respecting the diversity of people (Carter, 2007). Therefore, environmental issues are some of the activities that the green movement carries out. However, the major question concerns whether the Green movement will succeed in solving the environment problem.
The green movement could therefore be a possible solution to the environmental problems that are being experienced around the globe. Its success on environmental issues will be experienced through the campaigns that are done on conservation of environment. The environmental organizations have been on the forefront in sensitizing people on the environmental harm that has been caused by human activities. Sensitization will help in informing and encouraging people to protect the environment.
In addition, the green movements have been educating people on the possible ways of conserving the environment. There have been rampant campaigns against cutting of trees, air pollution through emissions and water pollution through dumping of waste products. This has been done through educating the people about the global warming that has become a great threat to the globe. As a result of global warming, the climatic conditions have greatly changed. There has been increased desertification because of the significant reduction in the amount of rainfall. The reduction results from the effects of environmental damage. Therefore, when people are informed of these effects, they tend to protect the environment, which is a possible means that will guarantee the success of green movement.
However, the challenges that are facing the green movement organization casts doubt on whether it will achieve its intended goals. It is sometimes not possible for the organizations to influence the activities of people unless they are willing to change. Therefore, the success of solving the environmental problems lies with the individuals who have the responsibility of protecting the environment. Green movements lack the necessary machinery that will help in enforcing the legislations that they formulate to protect environment (Carter, 2007). These environmental legislations fail at the implementation stage. The movements are some times limited by resources that are necessary to implement their strategies. They mostly depend on donations that are not always forthcoming.
The other major problem that the green movement is facing is that they observe people, corporations and technology as the main enemies of the environment. This does not help in solving the environmental problems because people are the solution. The movement has failed in changing the perception of people because of blame game. Instead, they should corporate with them in getting solutions to the problems. Corporations and use of technology would be an effective avenue of convincing people. In addition, corporations will review the standards of their products to become environment friendly when they are involved in conservation.
The green movement also missed the point when they engaged in other activities such as politics. This is because they have sometimes been observed as organizations that are being used by people to achieve ends. Parties such as the “Green Party” have been formed that were based on democratic policies but they have failed to capture the support of the people. This signifies that people lack confidence in these organizations. As a result of such activities, it is hard for the green movement organizations to succeed in reversing the environmental problems that are being experienced unless they reconsider their approach of dealing with it.
As Zimmer quotes in her article, “the environmentalists attempt to move public opinion but they lack public policy in the Green Movement”. This means that the green movements have not strategized properly on how they intend to deal with the problem of the environment. We have observed that in most countries, the green movement is not government friendly. They mostly oppose government policies instead of working out a plan with them on how to tackle the problem. If the green movement collaborated with the governments, it would be easier to implement their policies. This could take place through drafting legislations that would be implemented by the government. In addition, it would be easier for the government to convince people to change their habits to help in conservation of the environment. Enforcing some of the policies that the green movement organizations formulate is hard without government involvement. For example, it will be hard for the green movement organizations to ensure that companies comply with their requirements such as producing products that are environment friendly. This indicates that these organizations cannot operate single handedly as they attempt to do. Therefore, if they do not change their tactic, they will not be an answer to the environmental problem in the globe.
The activities of the green movement are also hindered by the increased conflict between the humans and the environment (Doherty, 2000). This is because of the activities that most people engage in which are not environment friendly. For example, there has been increased production of products that are not biodegradable such as plastics. Therefore, the companies producing such products are not likely to support the work of the green movement. In addition, human beings are cutting trees and doing other activities that require timber and therefore it is unlikely that they can fully comply with the requirements of the green movement. As a result of such activities, the green movement has failed in attracting the people and the corporations to participate in activities that will help to conserve the environment. Instead, they view the organizations as their enemies that prevent them from doing their activities. These reasons have led to doubts whether the green movement will achieve its intended purpose.
Green movements have also been hindered in their activities by the increased scientific uncertainty (Barrow, 1999). There are uncertainties on some technologies that have been adopted because of their effects to the environment and human beings. For example, there have been arguments on the effects that genetically modified foods have on the human beings. Though this technology was invented for the good of the people that is to reduce food shortage, the methods used in producing it are likely to be harmful to the soil and the environment in general. Therefore, these uncertainties have been a great setback to the activities of the green movement organizations.
Barrow states that green movement organizations have also been faced by failure to have collective goals. Some organizations have been formed with the aim of advocating for environment conservation but they end up engaging in very different activities. In addition, some are led by self-centered people and therefore they compromise the goals of the organization for their personal benefit. Such situations occur where some companies want to engage in activities that will be harmful to the environment but the organization officials are compromised through bribes. Due to such occurrences, it has become hard for the masses to trust the green movements. This casts doubt on whether they will be in a position of solving the environmental problems.
The environmental problems being experienced today have resulted from the increased population (Doherty, 2000). As a result, there has been increased demand for commodities such as land and shelter. This shows that environmental damage has not occurred just because of the changing nature of man but increase in population has led to the increase in environmental problems. Therefore, this indicates that the problem is sometimes beyond the scope of the green movement. This is because even though they may educate people on effects that the environmental damage has brought, people may want to comply but circumstances make it hard for them. This poses a great challenge to the green movement and hence we cannot conclude with certainty that it will be successful in solving the environmental problems.
Finally, we cannot totally claim that the green movement will be unsuccessful in solving the environmental problems. As Doherty states in her book, green movement organizations have played a role in sensitizing people on some activities that are carried out by people and the subsequent effects that they have on the environment. For example, they have helped to sensitize people on the effects of nuclear activities that are being carried out by North Korea. The issue of carbon dioxide and global warming has also been adequately addressed. Such information will help people to reconsider their activities. The green movement organizations also form a platform that can be used to influence people into seeing the importance of environmental conservation. Therefore, they are required to use the right approach so that this noble course can be achieved. This should be done with the help of environment experts who will provide evidence to the people on the harm that has been done to the environment. This may help to ensure that the green movement becomes an answer to the environment problems.
Barrow, Christopher. Environmental management: principles and practice. New York, NY: Routledge. 1999. Print.
Carter, Neil. The politics of the environment: ideas, activism, policy. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. 2007. Print.
Doherty, Brian. Ideas and actions in the green movement. New York, NY: Routledge. 2000. Print.
“Reflecting on Environmental Education: Where is our place in the Green movement?” The Journal of Environmental Education. 41.3 (2010): pp 179-191. Electronic.
Zimmer, Mary, et al. Green issues: “Dimensions of environmental concern”. Journal of business research 30.1 (1994): pp 63-74. Print.