The Environmental Issue: Opposing Modernity and Progress

  • John Karamichas
Part of the Global Culture and Sport book series (GCS)


This chapter traces the emergence and development of environmental concern around the world. It starts with a brief account of the emergence of the first nature protection/conservationist associations of the nineteenth century in both Europe and the US while at the same time accounting for differences between these associations and various non-Western perspectives. It then moves to the 1960s and 70s, which can broadly be defined as a landmark period for a new extension of the environmental problematic. At this time, various social movements encouraged the politicization of the environmental issue. Thus, the chapter provides a detailed presentation of the discursive dynamics that accompanied these developments. All of these movements of the 1960s and 70s advocated limiting or even abandoning the obsession with growth that permeates all modern societies, even if the various groups identified different culprits (e.g. industrialism, capitalism, hierarchical social relations). In this context, environmentalists saw the Olympic Games and other mega-projects as extremely negative developments for the preservation of the natural environment, and they acted accordingly to prevent them from happening. It was only in the early 80s and 90s that a growing body of evidence suggested that certain advanced industrialized countries were capable, through the use of new technologies, to factor environmental consequences into both the input and output of their industrial processes without inhibiting economic growth. This period marked the beginning of the rise in environmental awareness within IOC requirements among prospective host nations.


Environmental Issue Environmental Concern Olympic Game Environmental Movement Environmental Deterioration 
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Copyright information

© John Karamichas 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Karamichas
    • 1
  1. 1.Queen’s UniversityBelfastUK

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