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Green Imperialism is the first book to document the origins and early history of environmentalism, concentrating especially on its hitherto unexplained colonial and global aspects. It highlights the significance of Utopian, Physiocratic, and medical thinking in the history of environmentalist ideas. The book shows how the new critique of the colonial impact on the environment depended on the emergence of a coterie of professional scientists, and demonstrates both the importance of the oceanic island "Eden" as a vehicle for new conceptions of nature and the significance of colonial island environments in stimulating conservationist notions.