Increasing evidence of the irreparable damage humans have inflicted on the planet has caused many to adopt a defeatist attitude toward the future of the global environment. Local Environmental Movements: A Comparative Study of the United States and Japan analyzes how local groups in both Japan and the United States refuse to surrender the Earth to a depleted and polluted fate. Drawing on numerous case studies, scholars from around the world discuss efforts by grassroots organizations and movements to protect the environment and to preserve the landscapes they love and depend upon. The authors examine citizen campaigns protesting nuclear radiation and chemical weapons disposal. Other groups have organized to protect farmlands and urban landscapes to groups that organize to preserve steams, wildlife habitats, tidal flats, coral reefs, National Parks, and biodiversity. These small groups of determined citizens are occasionally successful, demonstrating the power of democracy against seemingly insurmountable odds. In other cases, the groups failed to bring about the desired change. This book explores the distinctive leaders, the relevant laws and regulations, local politics, and the historical and cultural contexts that influenced the goals and successes of the various groups. The contributors conclude that there is no one single environmental movement but many, and the volume emphasizes grassroots movements and advocacy groups that represent local constituencies. By studying these groups and their respective challenges, Local Environmental Movements highlights the common themes as well as the distinctive features of environmental advocates in the United States and Japan. Over decades, these groups' have nurtured environmental awareness and promoted the concept of sustainable development that respects the need for both environmental protection and cultural preservation.
"This book does a great job of illustrating how social movements negotiate the local, regional, national, and international forces that shape environmental conflicts."—Shawn Banasick, Kent State University
"I strongly recommend that all people interested in environmental issues read this volume."—Bimal Kanti Paul, Kansas State University
"[Shows] that ideas about nature and grassroots politics are shaped as much by relationships between actors as they are by grand historical narratives... well worth the read."—H-Net Reviews