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Across the globe, environmental issues are increasingly found towards the top of many and diverse political and social agendas. For example, environmental campaigns in western countries today, with their targets both at home and abroad, have a special urgency which draws in an astonishing range of field campaigners, from young militants to rebel aristocrats. This book examines the roots of contemporary consciousness and action in terms of both popular experience and tradition. The global spread of this book reflects the character of contemporary environmentalism. It examines a geographically and thematically diverse range of case studies, from mediaeval church iconography to multi-million pound development projects, from Italian peasant children to Britons in the Brazilian jungle. The common theme linking each chapter is that environmental consciousness and activism are shaped not only through individual experience but also through myth, tradition and collective memory. Containing a wealth of empirical source material, this book will be invaluable for sociologists and historians alike. it offers cutting-edge illustration of how narrative and oral history can illuminate our understanding of an uncertain present.