Environmentalism or environmental rights is a broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the impact of changes to the environment on humans, animals, plants and non-living matter. While environmentalism focuses more on the environmental and nature-related aspects of green ideology and politics, ecologism combines the ideology of social ecology and environmentalism. Ecologism is more commonly used in continental European languages, while environmentalism is more commonly used in English but the words have slightly different connotations.
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Environmentalism advocates the preservation, restoration and improvement of the natural environment and critical earth system elements or processes such as the climate, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity. For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, environmental ethics, biodiversity, ecology, and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.
At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems on which they depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainability. The exact measures and outcomes of this balance is controversial and there are many different ways for environmental concerns to be expressed in practice. Environmentalism and environmental concerns are often represented by the colour green, but this association has been appropriated by the marketing industries for the tactic known as greenwashing.
Environmentalism is opposed by anti-environmentalism, which says that the Earth is less fragile than some environmentalists maintain, and portrays environmentalism as overreacting to the human contribution to climate change or opposing human advancement.