Across the globe, environmental questions feature more and more in today's social and political agendas. In Western countries environmental campaigns target issues at home and abroad. They 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 environmental consciousness and action in terms of both popular experience and tradition.The global reach of this book reflects the character of contemporary environmentalism. It examines a geographically and thematically diverse range of case studies, including: British environmental campaigners in the Brazilian rainforest; ecocriticism and literature; the environmental movement in Kazakhstan; and medieval church iconography. The common theme linking each chapter is that environmental consciousness and activism are shaped through people's life stories, and that their memories are shaped not only through individual experience but also through myth, tradition, and collective memory. Containing a wealth of empirical source material, Environmental Consciousness will be invaluable for sociologists and historians alike. It offers a cutting-edge illustration of how narrative and oral history can illuminate our understanding of an uncertain present.