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An environmentalist broadly supports the goals of the environmental movement, "a political and ethical movement that seeks to improve and protect the quality of the natural environment through changes to environmentally harmful human activities". An environmentalist is engaged in or believes in the philosophy of environmentalism.
Most politically inclined environmentalists identify themselves as greens and they have strong views on issues that concern the environment. The Green Parties are generally applied to those in the environmental movement working as volunteers, activists or paid staff. However, the term could also be applied to environmental scientists. Some environmentalists are also green anarchists, arguing that true environmental change cannot occur under the present economic model. Others are eco-socialists, who combine Marxism, socialism and ecology with environmentalism to produce an anti-capitalist ideology that sees capitalism as the cause of environmental problems, social injustice and inequality.
Environmentalists are sometimes referred to using informal or derogatory terms such as "greenie" and "tree-hugger".
Some of the notable environmentalists who have been active in lobbying for environmental protection include: