Environmental Movements

paloma-environmental-movement-1Environmental Movements (EMs) are viewed to be a subset of the New Social Movements (NSMs) theories. In one page, identify the areas of similarities and differences between the EMs and NSMs and why would you agree or disagree with that notion?  In your 2nd page, select an example of your choice and describe the three frameworks of analysis for the Environmental Movements following the examples provided in the work of Doyle, Timothy. Your example should be different form the ones mentioned in the six countries in box 1.2 page 7


7 thoughts on “Environmental Movements

  1. New Social Movements framework attempts to identify and categorize the social movements occurring since the mid-1960’s and includes Environmental Movements. As NSMs envelope EMs there are numerous similarities between the two. The two movements are defined by the fluctuating form expressed politically and within policy of the group. It could also be added to Doyle’s analysis that the focus of these groups also morphs and changes. EMs focus is often supported by multifaceted interests and goals. A unique factor of EMs is the ability to interconnect different causes such as human rights, ecological issues and preservation of culture and history, just to name a few.
    These characteristics of EMs lend success mostly through informal networks and “underground” connections. However, NSMs are more likely to also function within structured networks such as churches or private businesses. EMs tend to encompass members from all different networks, a collection of people that defies social strata. EMs are usually more diverse within individual countries and at the same time are not restricted by political boundaries. NSMs are usually formed within cultural, political and geographic limitations and their foundations are class-based and unvaried.
    Based on Doyle’s analysis of viewing EMs through the lens of NSMs I agree that EMs are a subset of NSMs. This type of analysis seems to be the only one that can accurately express the complexity of EMs. I would also argue that in today’s world of globalization and almost ubiquitous internet access, the ability for any social movement to supersede political boundaries and geographical constrictions. Perhaps the use of the internet has somewhat fractured these movements even smaller into hyper-specific movements with a very defined goal.
    It is also interesting to note that NSMs are based on the evolution of movements in the Western world whereas EMs are a global phenomenon. It is also important to recognize that EMs are shifting towards a more holistic view of issues at hand; with the recognition that social, political, racial and ecological problems are all interconnected. In that case I would argue that EMs and NSMs are blending together into one field. The separation of these movements is beneficial for understanding and interpretation, but ultimately in life practice we should view these movements as one.
    An example of a NSMs that included environmental tones, but is more classified as a social movement is the “Occupy Wall Street”, also known as the “99% movement”. This movement involved participants from a certain socioeconomic status, but it spanned state lines and included people of different races, genders and backgrounds. There were streaks of environmental themes in the vision of this movement, but its main focus was income inequality and corporate greed within the United States.
    A recent EMs is the protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) to prevent an oil pipe from being built through Native American land in both of the Dakotas. This movement focused around land use issues, oil dependency, clean water and culturally sensitive land. With this example it becomes clear how complex and interconnected different issues are within EMs. Although the “99%” was also complex it had a more focused goal.
    The movement of the DAPL viewed through the national level framework shows that both minority and majority worlds collided. The majority world of wealthy oil companies, corrupt politicians and the Trump administration make up the aggressors in this battle for land. Native Americans, usually of low-economic status and having little political influence in our national politics struggled to protect their land and water access. The movement was supported nationally via social media and donations to the camp have come in from all over the world. Despite the pipeline being in a very specific geographical location, concern for the effects of the pipeline exceeded state and national boundaries. People of all backgrounds supported the movement as many recognized the gross injustices that Native Americans have faced and continue to endure.
    This movement straddles many movement types. There is outrage at the clear usurping of Native American’s land and thus it could be classified as a land use issue. As the land includes Native burial grounds it also contains an element of cultural pride and the potential destruction of historically sensitive areas. There is also the aspect of how if the pipeline is built water sources will be contaminated from the construction process and there is a high risk of the pipe leaking. Another element to this movement is fossil fuel dependency. Our country’s answer to depleting oil and international relational tensions leads to the idea that creating a pipeline in the United States will solve these issues. A more forward thinking approach would be to construct alternative, renewable energy options with this same money that is being invested in the pipeline. This also identifies the fact that this movement is mostly split along political party lines as well. The Republican Party has shown a growing interest in maintaining obsolete views on coal, oil and gas. Democrats tend to lean towards progressive policy that would support renewable energy sources.
    On the mirco-level the campaign has mostly been led by the Standing Rock Sioux, many other tribes have joined the movement as well as support from non-native Americans. There is also support from larger environmental groups such as Earthjustice, The Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network and 350.org. The main slogans used in the movement are “Defend the Sacred”, which plays on the cultural aspects of the land, and “Water is life”, emphasizing the potential pollution that could occur. The campaign had a wide reach but the current Trump administration has approved the pipeline to be built. This has not deterred the movement and protests continue with hope that construction has still be halted.

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  2. I will attempt to compare and contrast the characteristics of Environmental Movements (EM) with New Social Movements (NSM) in order to see whether EMs are actually a subset of NSMs or a separate phenomenon using the “Characteristics of New Social Movements,” Box 1.1 in this week’s reading.

    Neither NSMs nor EMs have clear boundaries where the structural roles of participants are concerned. Class, gender, age, sexual orientation, and profession can be a part of the makeup of a participant or irrelevant to their involvement. I agree that occasionally EMs share the characteristic of the emergence of a new dimension of identity. Participants may find themselves newly identifying with their environment because of changing life situations. For example, a young mother may not have been concerned about air quality before she was a mother but now that she has a child’s health to think of air quality and other environmental health issues may possess greater potency. A worker who is unemployed may find a greater association with people who are being put out of work by anti-logging movements. However, EM’s aren’t primarily focused on identity but on the environment that people of all identities inhabit which makes the subject potent.
    Both NSMs and EMS can start as grassroots and possess a disdain for conventional political association. However, where NSMs maintain autonomy from traditional political parties EMs seem to lean more leftist or centrist rather than the right wing of the political spectrum (personal observation). Both can be scaled up and down from the National to the Issue Banner to the Campaign level, however I observe that environmental movements seem to be less coherent at the national level, rather they tend to scale up to international since ecosystems are much less dependent upon jurisdictional boundaries, and at the issue banner level. I think the campaign level is the strongest for environmental movements because people are most concerned about the environment immediately adjacent to them – their own backyards.

    However, NSMs use “the radical mobilization tactics of resistance” rather than “civil disobedience and nonviolence.” I would argue that this is a point where they differ from environmental movements because we commonly observe civil disobedience and non-violent protest from both radical and moderate environmental activists.

    NSMs and EMs have a great deal in common but rather than claim EMs as a subset of NSMs I would say that NSMs are separate but overlapping with EMs.

    The campaign over the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, is a great example of an environmental movement that had a lot of cross-over with a New Social Movement. I categorize this as an EM and not an NSM because the central issue was environmental justice, not an emerging identity. The conflict was between an indigenous group and a private company working with a federal agency, the Army Corps of Engineers. This represents the National level, however I feel that indigenous groups are in conflict with post-colonial governments on most continents and this is not a particular to the United States. This event garnered a lot of banner-level attention from a range of movements, though the core was environmental justice for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Other banner-level movements that supported this campaign would be 1) fossil fuels development opposition, 2) clean water, 3) native sovereignty, 4) civil right to peacefully protest, 5) wildlife protection, 6) anti-government, and many other causes as represented by the diverse range of NGOs who gave support to protesters.

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  3. The environmental movements (EMs) are scientific, social, and political movements for addressing environmental issues. EMs are the most vibrant, diverse, and powerful social movements occurring today (Doyle, 2017). I am not anti-environmentalist, but I agree that Earth can maintain itself to some extent meaning we should try to avoid entirely interfering the part that nature can take care of itself.
    The new social movements (NSMs) (i.e., antiwar, environmental, civil rights, and feminist movements) are distinct from other traditional social movements such as labor movements. NSMs are one structural political entity which does not follow global corporate form and the cost-benefit equation. I agree with the notion of NSMs which rejects using the state as a tool that can be utilized to create social justice and ensure democratic accountability. What are the similarities and difference between EMs and NSMs?
    The EMs and NSMs belong to the larger body of interdisciplinary theory called social movement and focus on social and cultural concerns, rather than economic or political considerations. The differences include that NSMs are diverse and multitudinous, while EMs are not. EMs interconnect with anti-globalization movements (Doyle, 2017). The structural form of EMs is rally and protest on a contextual basis, while the NSMs defies the period of specific struggle and overrides barriers such as class, religion, political parties, and families (Doyle, 2017). The EMs may be mostly made up of a distinct group of people based on class, gender, race, religion, education, age, etc., while NSMs drift through these boundaries and structures. I agree with NSMs more than EMs because they allow anyone to participate in the movements as long as they share similar values and goals.
    Nation: South Korea (Republic of Korea); Movement of “Issue Banner”: Anti-dam movement; Campaign: Korea Federation of Environmental Movements (KFEM)
    The idea of constructing a dam in Dong River came up after the floods in 1990. The Ministry of Construction and Transportation and the Korea Water Resources Corporation proposed the dam construction plan in the same year. Initially, the residents of this area opposed the plan and started anti-construction rallies. Despite these rallies, the government announced the dam construction in 1997. The Ministry of the Environment approved the proposed environmental impact assessment (EIA) by the developer but turned down the proposed EIA three times. Meanwhile, environmental organizations exercised a variety of campaigns with international cooperation and citizens. They investigated the Dong River, hosted forums to discuss the issues, produced postcards, posters, stickers, and banners with beautiful scenery of the Dong River. Through the anti-dam movement, many citizens visited the Dong River to enjoy the scenery and rafting which I also participated in my elementary school. The office of the Prime Minister cooperated with the KFEM to organize a committee and appointed a join research team. The research team recommended ceasing the dam construction project. On the Environment Day, June 5th, 2000, President Kim announced that his government would seek alternative methods. This announcement put an end to the two-year period of conflict. The Dong River campaign was the first successful anti-dam campaigns happened in South Korea.
    The KFEM, established in 1993, is a largest environmental nonprofit organization in South Korea. These campaigns address nuclear waste dump, anti-dam construction, anti-golf course structure, toxic chemical, air pollution, conservation of wetlands and biodiversity in the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea, etc.

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  4. Diversity is one of the most important features of Environmental Movement (EM) as well as New Social Movement (NSM). The constantly changing Environmental Movements’ boundaries make it hard to define them accurately. When it comes to the campaign level of EMs, even the same EM in one country often have different organizations, structures or supporters in different regions. NSMs and EMs both involve in many new dimensions of identities. It usually happens in the minority worlds since people there hold various beliefs and values. As to EMs, each group may possess different goals and advocate different methods of achieving those goals. For example, as Doyle mentioned in his book, the protesters against the expansion of a uranium mine in Roxby Downs, Australia, can be divided into environmentalists opposing nuclear, subservient indigenous people and some who concerned about wilderness value. (2004)

    The tendency of transcending the class disassociates NSMs from permanent social class, sex orientation or professions of participants. In addition to this tendency, EMs possess different political philosophies while no center of the movements can be defined by past politics. Some groups may operate with militant actions while others pursue nonviolence protest towards the government or lobby the congressmen to agree on a proposal. However, NSMs apply more radical tactics of resistance instead of “civil disobedience and nonviolence”. This is the first point that NSM and EM can be separated because the environmentalists and the environmental movements are non-violent with more peaceful intention. Another difference is that the range of EM is usually constrained to the local level and has less connection with foreign countries. I would argue that NSMs are more permeable to drift through national barriers and more likely to disperse the movement, ideology and form in other countries. For example, the Global Anti-Golf Movement conference in 1993 had delegates from Thailand, Malaysia, Hawaii, Hongkong, Japan, etc. The movement, which aims to inhibit golf industry involving transnational corporations and depriving local agriculture and water resource, broke national boundaries and united people of different nations, classes and beliefs. On the contrast, EMs are described basically under the national level by Doyle. It is reasonable that except global warming and climate change such kind of global environmental problems, most EMs are tightly connected with local environmental issues.

    The movement I choose is the Anti-PX Movement in China, which I would define it as both environmental movement and new social movement. PX refers to p-Xylene, an aromatic hydrocarbon, which is a significant component in the production of terephthalic acid for polyesters. Its global production is estimated to be 37 million tons a year. At the national level, Anti-PX Movement is the most famous environmental movement which only happens in China. From 2007 to 2014, the movement took place for 7 times, mainly along the east shore line of China in different cities, invoking many parades and conflicts between government and civilians. At the issue banner level, it would be intricated to explain whether people opposed the construction of PX factory due to the concern of environmental protection or other reasons like personal interest and grievance of undemocratic government decisions. Although PX itself is not acutely toxic, having been proven safe and stable, people still worried about its by-products in production and kept asking what if the factory exploded. The movement revealed Chinese’ distrust of chemical factory’s regulations and operations as well as people’s concerns for the environment and their own health.

    The first campaign took place in Xiamen in 2007, beginning with hundreds of CPPCC members’ opposition of PX factory construction. Local people worried about the toxicity of PX and the damage it would cause if the factory exploded. They were also angry that government certified the plan of PX factory construction without hold a public hearing. Tens of thousands of Xiamen civilians gathered in front of local government, wearing masks to show their discontent. Their movement was also supported on Internet by other environmentalists around China. Half a year later the government agreed to move the factory 100 km away. Another sensational campaign happened in Dalian, a famous port city of oil and shipping industry. Before the public hearing of PX program, a major oil pipeline exploded twice in 4 months and polluted large area of the sea. Local people were discontented about the serious environmental problems caused by oil leaking. As a result, they gathered at Civic Square, singing China’s national anthem to refuse the enter of PX factory. The local government announced to move the factory away on the same day, but refused to disclose location and time. Another campaign happened in Ningbo. Villagers was unhappy about resettling fee of a chemical factory program. When they found out that part of the chemical factory’s function was to produce PX, they blocked the roads for entire two days. The common features of all these Anti-PX Movements are that they happen very fast without specific leaders. They usually end with local government’s compromise of moving factory away while people in other province still have no idea about them. However, moving factory away does not solve the real environmental problems. It is more important to formulate safe regulations of factory’s operation while government should be responsible for disclosing information clearly and building strong public trust.

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  5. New Social Movements were a new theory of social movements that originated in the western society after the industrial revolution and Environmental Movements also started after the industrial revolution, and focused on the diverse array of scientific, social and political agendas for addressing environmental issues.

    Both environmental movements (EMs) and new social movements (NSMs) involved a number of individuals who worked for a greater cause. While there are various similarities between the two, EMs can be seen as a type or subset of NSMs and might have involved people who are not directly related to the cause but are directly influenced by its results. NSMs often involve people who are directly involved through cultural, geographic or social boundaries. Also, EMs tend to be more of a global phenomenon, while NSMs are more of regional value. While EMs can easily be seen as a subset of NSMs, they are diverse in their action plans, stakeholders, citizen involvement.

    The Chipko Movement in India in the 1970s was first begun to protect and conserve the forests of a north-Indian village. The movement was headed by the village women, who hugged the trees for to prevent them from being cut down by the forest contractors. The Chipko movement later became a predecessor or model for similar non-violent socio-ecological movements that were to come later in India. An example like the Chipko movement seems to have blurred the line between being an EM and a NSM. It can be thought that EMs and NSMs should be categorized under the same broad category as they go hand in hand with social, cultural and ecological well-being of people.

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  6. New Social Movements (NSM) attempts to explain the social movements emerging in the 60’s. NSM often focus on social and cultural issues and its supporters are loosely organized regardless off class, religious, political and physical barriers. I believe environmental Movements certainly fall within the realm of NSM. Environmental Movements are characterized as being non-institutional informal networks. There are also a variety of goals within the environmental movement depending on the national framework and context of a specific campaign within a movement. Decisions within the environmental movement are often made within campaigns, which are temporary interactions with specific goals. Environmental movement supporters can be found globally allows for the participation of diverse groups. The Internet has helped the spread of information about environmental issues and facilitated the process of organizing around a specific issue. Doyle writes that there is often different environmental focus between majority (areas that have high population and own the least amount of resources) and minority worlds (areas that have the least populations and own the most resources). The majority world tends to focus on human health, shelter, survival and food security while the minority world focuses on natural preservation. An interesting concept is that of glocalization which Doyle describes as the championing of the local environmental struggle and responding with homogenized, simplistic and western solutions.

    Hondura’s environmental movement exists within a national framework mostly characterized by the repression of human rights. The country experienced a coup d’état in 2009 putting in place politicians, businesses and military officers who have backed environmentally destructive projects. The impact of the political climate in Honduras and the culture of corruption is exemplified by the fact that at least 120 environmental activist have been murdered since 2010. One of the movement’s “issue banner” is to advocate for the preservation of environmental ecosystems which are considered sacred by the Lenca people, and are often tied to their economic survival.

    The Civil Council of Popular Indigenous Organizations of Honduras is a specific camping within this larger movement, which demands that investors withdraw the Agua Zarca Dam Project. This project is one of the hundreds of the environmentally destructive projects that moved forward without community consultations. In 2016, Berta Caceres, who was leading this campaign was murdered, leading to the withdrawal of funds from the projects main investors.

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  7. The Environmental Movement (EMs) is a diverse social movement focusing on environmental issues. The New Social Movements (NSMs) are extremely diverse and morphs in achieving their goals. I agree with the opinions of Doyle that EMs is a branch of NSMs since they share the basic similarities in some way.
    Firstly, both NSMs and EMs are leaded by multi goals and interest. Usually, participants pursue different goals such as personal rights, ecological issues or animal rights when they join the movement. Their multi goals are joined by few themes as the core slogan of the EMs. Secondly, these tow movements are bottom up movement instead of rooting from political association. However, compared with NSMs, EMs cares more about environmental protection or using environmental protection as the core topic to combine the multi goals of the partners. EMs comes from specific groups of people sharing the same value system even though they have different goals in some way, while there is no distinct similarity in NSMs participants.
    Anti-PX movement in Xiamen is one of the most representative EMs in China. Firstly, the participants in Anti-PX are diverse. The local citizens took part in the parade for their personal health. They afraid PX would influence their daily life detrimentally. Some fishermen in the parade were more concern about the PX’s detrimental effect on the water quality and then influence their business in some way. Some political action committees supported the movement for their politic responsibility/political benefits. But they shared the same topic – opposing the PX project in Xiamen. The second characteristic of Anti-PX in Xiamen/EMs in China is the high participation on Media and Inter-net. And those actions in cyber/paper world could also influence the movement. The participants of Anti-PX movement in Xiamen got the news about PX project from blog. They also got the time and place information on Internet and took part in automatically. And the high transmitting of Anti – PX on Media put a lot of pressure on government and then push them to move the PX factory to another place.


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