The Face of the Earth: Environment and World History

By J. Donald Hughes | Go to book overview

In Eastern Europe, the environmental movements today resemble more closely those in the West. The people of Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe have environmental traditions that they can resurrect from previous times. "Protoecological" statements and ideas can be found particularly among authors who worked at the turn of the century or during the interwar period. 21

As might be expected, considering the proximity of Western Europe and shared cultural traditions from the time before the Second World War, the East European countries have evolved along the lines of the existing green parties in the West, and ideologies representing a "green" version of nationalism have appeared. The same can be said as well about Russia, which shares, after all, much of its cultural tradition with the rest of Europe. But Russia is also a country of "pioneers" and "settlers" in its southern and eastern parts, which may bring about an environmental perspective in the study of its past and present similar to that of North America and Australia. Whatever the exact development, environmentalism has come to stay as an important part of culture, social life, and politics in Eastern Europe and Russia. Thus, although the 1980s Green movements in this part of the world may have represented political rather than environmental concerns, there are other reasons why these former communist countries can expect an eco-revival.


Notes
1.
S. A. Demina, Zakon na strazhe prirody ( Moscow, 1987), p. 63.
2.
Douglas R. Weiner, Models of Nature: Ecology, Conservation and Cultural Revolution in Soviet Russia ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1988), p. 7.

-163-

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