VIEWSnThe New EnvironmentalismnMore change has occurred in the environmental movementnduring the past ten years than in its entirenprevious history. Its thrust has become less ideological andnmore pragmatic, less New Age and more scientific. It isnincreasingly grounded in the databases of atmosphericnscience and the genetic models of conservation biology.nThe practice of conservation in particular is now linked toneconomic development rather than opposed to it, focusednon biological diversity rather than just scenic beauty, broadenednto save entire ecosystems rather than individual starnspecies such as pandas and bald eagles, and tilted southwardnto put increasing emphasis on those ti’opical countries wherenthe most severe environmental problems exist. The nextnhundred years may well evolve into the century of thenenvironment — during which most societies shift from gunsnand butter to butter and trees. All this comes not a momentntoo soon, if we are to save a failing planet.nA decade ago the public image of environmentalism wasnburdened with what might be called the Greenpeacenmetaphor. Environmental issues were caricatured as theatersnof ideological conflict, where champions of Naturenbattled champions of Progress. Liberals, in this view,nEdward O. Wilson is Frank B. Baird Jr. Professor ofnScience and Curator in Entomology at Harvard, and thenrecipient of The Ingersoll Foundation’s 1989 Richard M.nWeaver Award for Scholarly Letters. His latest book isnThe Ants.n16/CHRONICLESnby Edward O. Wilsonnnnblocked dams in order to save oddly named small fishes,nwhile conservatives heedlessly sacrificed the environmentnfor short-term profit. The dichotomy was far from exact, butnlike most oversimplifications it held a lot of truth andnreflected accurately some of the larger tensions of Americannlife.nToday, to my distress, some conservative writers continuento treat environmentalism with skepticism or outright hostility.nThey depict it as one more workshop of the left, a meansnof enlarging government control and the power of thenbureaucratic New Class, and a cudgel with which to beatnfree market economies and press for a restructuring ofnsociety — in short, a clever scheme to add the environmentnand its votaries to the Welfare State.nThis is a mistake. The environmental crisis is real. If thenheart of the conservation agenda is the preservation of thenbest in the world in the midst of change, it cannot be limitednto institutions, the rule of law, and personal morality, butnmust also embrace the environment. Conservare is thencommon stem of conservation and conservatism, and perhapsnthat ancient link should serve as a signature of the basicnprinciple that humanity does not exist apart from nature andnwill suffer to the extent that we abuse it.nGrowth in scientific knowledge has altered the characternof the environmental movement and its relation to politicalnand economic life. A global view now prevails. We nonlonger see changes as isolated episodes—the pollution of anriver here or the extinction of a bird species there. Now wen