Photo courtesy Waging Nonviolence The Chipko movement (which means “to cling”) started in the 1970s when a group of peasant women in Northern India threw their arms around trees designated to be cut down. A version of this article appeared in Waging Nonviolence Show the slightest bit of concern for the environment and you get labeled a tree hugger. That’s what poor Newt Gingrich has been dealing with recently, as the other presidential candidates attack his conservative credentials for having once appeared in an ad with Nancy Pelosi in support of renewable energy. Never mind that he has since called the ad the “biggest mistake” of his political career and talked about making Sarah Palin energy secretary . Gingrich will be haunted by the tree hugger label the rest of his life. He might as well grow his hair out, stop showering and start walking around barefoot. But is that what a tree hugger really is? Just some dazed hippie who goes around giving hugs to trees as way to connect with nature. You might be shocked to learn the real origin of the term. The first tree huggers were 294 men and 69 women belonging to the Bishnois […]

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