Environmentalism: Into The Woods

Once dominated by fringe activists, environmentalism is now an essential element of political reform--especially in the developing world, where the destruction of nature threatens to widen the gap bet

Three days before Christmas 1988, Brazil was stunned by the news that Chico Mendes, a humble rubber tapper who had become the country's most famous crusader for the protection of the Amazon rain forest, had been murdered by furious Brazilian landowners. Martyrdom can help fulfill a life's mission, and that was true for Mendes: his death electrified a generation of young Brazilians, who found both magic and meaning in his seductive brand of environmentalism.

Sylvia Mitraud, a Sao Paulo university student,was among those seduced. The daughter of a Brazilian economic-planning-ministry bureaucrat, she had been brought up to care more about her...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!