The Influence Of Green Groups On The Policy Of The United States

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The Influence of Green Groups on the Policy of the United States Abstract: This research examines the relationship between environmental groups and the policies of the United States. The United States political system has been historically anthropocen-tric, or human centered. Environmental groups have been attempting to change this to a biocentric or ecocentric viewpoint, which includes the rights of animals and the environment. These views are nature centered instead of human centered. This study will answer the question of whether these groups have been effective at altering United States policies. This will be done through the study of views offered by both sides. Also, a survey will be used to determine whether congressmen views are consistent with environmentalist views. It will also present whether policy change has taken place, and if these changes have remained intact through the study of past congressional decisions. Research Problem 1. Research Question Have environmental groups' strategies been successful at altering the policies of the United States? 2. Rational for the Research This research will help environmental groups to identify the effectiveness of their strategies. This is necessary for these groups to effectively alter the policies of the United States, which is one of the largest polluters in the world. If their strategies are ineffective then it will be necessary for them to reassess their methods. Without the use productive methods these groups will not be able to protect the environment. Animals, plants and the entire ecosystem must have the same protection as humans have. An ecocentric viewpoint establishes the right of the environment to have legal standing. This gives people the ability to defend the right of an animal to exist with the same rights as humans. Without this protection, people will be just as negatively affected as the environment. The earth must be thought of as a living organism, if one part is hurt then the whole planet will feel the effects. Unfortunately, business and governments take the stance that the earth is more like a machine. That is, at times if a part is hurt it can be repaired, without it effecting the whole system. Literature Review The literature on environmental groups and their influence and activities is vast. Several themes concerning the groups' influence in changing United States policy exist. The American Psychological Association has done studies on ecocentric and anthropocentric attitudes (Thomas, 1994). Ecocentric values have arisen recently as environmental problems have come to the public's attention. Anthropocentric values have existed much longer. They have become institutionalized into our political and economic system. The movement toward environmental awareness arose in the political activism in the 60's. Although these values have recently been declining according to
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