Environmentalism

   As in most other European countries, concern about the quality of the environment began to emerge in Italy in the 1970s and early 1980s. Overbuilding in Italian coastal resorts, increasing pollution in lakes and rivers, the growing problem of smog in the cities, the nascent nuclear program, and a leak in 1976 of dioxin at a chemical plant at Seveso near Milan all contributed to an increased interest in environmental issues. Following the success of the German Green Party in the 1983 elections to the Bundestag, local Green associations successfully fielded lists of candidates in the two provinces closest to Germany, Trento and Bolzano, in 1983. In local elections held nationwide in 1985, local Green associations ran candidates in communal and provincial elections all over the country. To capitalize on this upsurge in interest, the “National Federation of Green Lists” was founded in November 1986, and in the 1987 general elections, the federation’s symbol was on the ballot paper throughout the country. The federation won 2.5 percent of the vote and elected 13 deputies and two senators. In the fall of 1987, the Greens enjoyed a further triumph when Italians, alarmed by the Chernobyl disaster, voted in a national referendum to end Italy’s nuclear power program.
   The formation of a rival force, the Verdi arcobaleno (“Rainbow Greens”), which appealed to Greens worried that the environmentalist movement was fossilizing into a traditional political party, did not slow the growth of Green sympathies among the electorate. In the European elections in June 1989, the two lists together obtained over 6 percent of the vote, the apex of Green support in Italy. Although the two rival movements merged in 1990, the Verdi have struggled to maintain electoral support in the changed economic climate of the 1990s. Only 2.8 percent of the electorate voted for Green candidates in the general elections of 1992, a figure that was approximated in the two subsequent electoral tests. In April 1993, the former European commissioner for the environment, Carlo Ripa Di Meana, was appointed national spokesman for the Greens, and until December 1996, when he was deposed as party leader, he represented environmentalists within the Olive Tree Coalition/Ulivo. In recent years, the Greens have also made antiwar protest the core of their political platform, opposing, for instance, both the first and second Gulf wars, and in the 2006 elections they formed a common list with the Comunisti d’Italia/Communists of Italy (PdCI). Unless there is another nuclear or industrial calamity, the Verdi seem destined to remain marginal in Italian political life. Green sentiment, however, has become deeply rooted in Italy. Other singleissue organizations such as the Lega Ambiente (Environmental League), Greenpeace, and the Antivivisection League all have substantial active memberships.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • environmentalism —    Environmentalism has developed from the 1960s as both an extensive body of thought and an important cultural and political movement in Britain. Philosophically, its roots can be traced to aspects of eastern and Presocratic thought, while… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • environmentalism —    Environmentalism refers to ideas and theories that share the central belief that human life can only be understood in the context of the natural world. It challenges some accepted ideas about economic growth and human progress, posing a… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • environmentalism — UK US /ɪnˌvaɪərəˈmentəlɪzəm/ US  / ˌvaɪrəˈmenṱəl / noun [U] ENVIRONMENT ► the study of the environment and the belief that it must be protected from damage by human activities: » Iowa farm folks practised recycling before environmentalism was… …   Financial and business terms

  • environmentalism — 1923, as a psychological theory (in the nature vs. nurture debate), from ENVIRONMENTAL (Cf. environmental) + ISM (Cf. ism). The ecological sense is from 1972. Related: Environmentalist (n.), 1916 in the psychological sense, 1970 in the ecological …   Etymology dictionary

  • Environmentalism — The historic Blue Marble photograph. Environmentalism is a concern for the planet as a whole. Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology[1][2] …   Wikipedia

  • environmentalism — en·vi·ron·men·tal·ism (ĕn vī rən mĕnʹtl ĭz əm, vī ərn ) n. 1. Advocacy for or work toward protecting the natural environment from destruction or pollution. 2. The theory that environment rather than heredity is the primary influence on… …   Universalium

  • Environmentalism —    In a country where almost no civil society developed outside the purview of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the environmental cause defied the odds to become one of the first major popular causes in the 1980s. Due to a Leninist… …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Environmentalism —    Shamans cannot strictly be identified as environmentalists because, as animists, they are members of a large community of life rather than being surrounded by an impersonal environment or “nature.” However, the common indigenous requirement to …   Historical dictionary of shamanism

  • environmentalism — [[t]ɪnva͟ɪ͟ərənme̱nt(ə)lɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT Environmentalism is used to describe actions and policies which show a concern with protecting and preserving the natural environment, for example by preventing pollution …   English dictionary

  • environmentalism — environmentalist ► NOUN 1) a person who is concerned with the protection of the environment. 2) a person who considers that environment has the primary influence on the development of a person or group. DERIVATIVES environmentalism noun …   English terms dictionary

  • environmentalism — noun Date: circa 1922 1. a theory that views environment rather than heredity as the important factor in the development and especially the cultural and intellectual development of an individual or group 2. advocacy of the preservation,… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.