Yes, by default, because the entire environmental movement is a new thing. The vast majority of people didn’t even think of conservation — Western society had a strict man vs. nature attitude. Nature was something to be used and exploited and conquered. The ideals of conservationism have almost two centuries to bloom fully into the public consciousness, and many environmental laws would have been difficult to pass in the past (in that nobody would have even thought to propose them in the first place). As the environmental movement has developed, it encountered resistance — still does — but the movement has been growing stronger. Today, we still hit road bumps with environmental legislation, but the fact of the matter is that we take environmental laws for granted, when the environmental movement as it exists today didn’t really form until the 1950s-70s.
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