Radical Movements And Green Politics

The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) is probably the most controversial group that could be characterized as a green movement, as the Unabomber's lone actions probably do not qualify as a movement. ELF is a radical environmental group that approves of destructive tactics to achieve their aims. Listed as a terrorist organization by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the decentralized organization has claimed responsibility for a handful of actions, including arsons committed in new suburban housing developments in Long Island, and the destruction of new Hummers at a dealership in southern California, which gained widespread media attention. Those acts of ecotage are inspired by the Edward Abbey classic, the Monkey Wrench Gang, where a group of friends who gain inspiration from the wild, clandestinely sabotage equipment used to extract natural resources.

Radical environmentalists are often depicted as adherents to deep ecology, an environmental worldview that advocates a duty to preserve nature. Deep ecology was coined by Arne Naess, a Norwegian philosopher and mountaineer who has written extensively on the moral philosophy of environmentalism. Deep ecologists have been criticized for holding onto pristine myths about nature and for pressing for U.S.-style national parks and wilderness areas in developing countries.

Green movement popularity has also lent itself to the mainstream programs of political parties. Political parties from all persuasions now seek to claim the environment for themselves. Political parties, such as the German Greens, Die GrĂ¼nen, have gained a populist following. The German Greens have led a strong critique of industrial society and colonialism, and have brought questions about the environment, public health, and military spending into their platform. Ralph Nader's appearance as a Green Party candidate in the U.S. presidential elections of 2000 is often cited as the reason Al Gore lost to George W. Bush. Former Vice President Al Gore is often described as an environmental movement leader, a claim buttressed by his film An Inconvenient Truth.

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