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Anti-environmentalism is a movement opposed to the environmental movement.

History in North America[edit]

Anti-environmentalism's origination in North America can be marked by a speech delivered by Lewis Powell to the US Chamber of Commerce in 1971.[1] Several acts had been passed in years prior to Powell’s speech in favor of environmentalism, such as the Wilderness Act 1964, Federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act 1968, National Environmental Policy Act 1969. Powell directed his audience against the environmental movement and promoted a pro-industry and anti-environmental view. James Watt was initially the most well-known anti-environmentalist.[1][relevant? ] He advocated free-for-all mining, ranching, and drilling.

In 1988 a Wise Use Campaign was introduced by Republican senator, Mark Hatfield.[1] The Wise Use Campaign supported unrestricted access to timber and other resources. [2]

A group called Alliance for America was created with 125 anti-environment and pro-industry groups.[1] In 1994, the US did not pass a Biodiversity Treaty.[1] Another group that was created in the 90’s was called Earth Day Alternatives. They were also counter-environmentalists. This group labelled environmentalists as “anti-human” and extremists.[1] The Earth Day Alternative aimed to privatise resources for exploitation, advocate pollution to be permitted as trade between companies, and to discredit environmental science. Heritage was a group that was also created with a laissez-faire approach toward the environment.[1][relevant? ] Anti-environmentalists were motivated by the fact that the ICI created deceptive green advertising.[1][3][not in citation given (See discussion.)]

Recent anti-environmentalism in the USA[edit]

Recent anti-environmentalism occurs with chemical manufacturers, oil producers, mining producers, timber companies, real estate developers, nuclear power industries, electric utilities, as well as politics. Present day anti-environmentalists view environmentalism as "an attack on middle-class American capitalism".[4] Former Republican Senator Harrison Schmitt accused environmentalism of sacrificing humans for the sake of the weather.[4] Larry Bell, an anti-environmental speaker claimed that the point of environmentalism is to destroy capitalism.[4]

By 2011, less than half of the American population believed that the burning of fossil fuels would affect the environment.[4] In 2011, 80% of Republicans did not agree with the science explaining the current "environmental crisis".[4]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Rowell, Andrew (1996). Green Backlash. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415128285. 
  2. ^ Burke, William Kevin (1995). "The Wise Use Movement: Right-Wing Anti-Environmentalism". Political Research Associates. Retrieved 14 March 2013. Bush's attack on environmentalism failed to save his candidacy, but it was a high water mark for the political influence of the "Wise Use" movement, a network of loosely allied right-wing grassroots and corporate interest groups dedicated to attacking the environmental movement and promoting unfettered resource exploitation. [...] "Oregon's electoral process has seen the Wise Use Movement and the Religious Right movement coming together in a number of ways, intentionally or unintentionally pushing forward a much broader conservative social or economic agenda," Mazza concluded. 
  3. ^ "Green Advertising Law". Green Advertising Law. Retrieved 2013-01-12. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Klein, Naomi (November 9, 2011). "Capitalism vs. the Climate". The Nation. 


  • Stauber, John, and Sheldon Rampton. (2002). Toxic Sludge is Good For You. Common Courage Press. ISBN 978-1-56751-060-7
  • Watkinson, Matthew. (2009). On the Destiny of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Elimination of Unfavoured Races in the Struggle for Life. Troubador Publishing. ISBN 1-84876-306-9. PDF
  • Zubrin, Robert (2012). Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism. 2646: The New Atlantis. ISBN 978-1594034763.