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Green is a color, the perception of which is evoked by light having a spectrum dominated by energy with a wavelength of roughly 520–570-nm. In the subtractive color system, it is not a primary color, but is created out of a mixture of yellow and blue, or yellow and cyan; it is considered one of the additive primary colors. On the HSV color wheel, the complement of green is magenta; that is, a purple color corresponding to an equal mixture of red and blue light. On a color wheel based on traditional color theory (RYB), the complementary color to green is considered to be red.
The word green is closely related to the Old English verb growan, “to grow”. It is used to describe plants or the ocean. Sometimes it can also describe someone who is inexperienced, jealous, or sick. In America, green is a slang term for money, among other things. Several colloquialisms have derived from these meanings, such as “green around the gills”, a phrase used to describe a person who looks ill.
Several minerals have a green color, including the emerald, which is colored green by its chromium content. Animals such as frogs, lizards, and other reptiles and amphibians, fish, insects, and birds, appear green because of a mixture of layers of blue and green coloring on their skin. By far the largest contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll, the chemical by which plants photosynthesize. Many creatures have adapted to their green environments by taking on a green hue themselves as camouflage.
Culturally, green has broad and sometimes contradictory meanings. In some cultures, green symbolizes hope and growth, while in others, it is associated with death, sickness, or the devil. The most common associations, however, are found in its ties to nature. For example, Islam venerates the color, as it expects paradise to be full of lush greenery. Green is also associated with regeneration, fertility and rebirth for its connections to nature. Recent political groups have taken on the color as symbol of environmental protection and social justice, and consider themselves part of the Green movement, some naming themselves Green parties. This has led to similar campaigns in advertising, as companies have sold green, or environmentally friendly, products.
Green politics is a political ideology which places a high importance on ecological and environmental goals, and on achieving these goals through broad-based, grassroots, participatory democracy. Green politics is advocated by supporters of the Green movement, which has been active through Green parties in many nations since the early 1980's. The political term Green, a translation of the German Grün, was coined by die Grünen, the first successful Green Party, formed in the late 1970's. The term political ecology is sometimes used in Europe and in academic circles.
Supporters of Green politics, called Greens, share many ideas with the ecology, conservation, environmental, feminist, and peace movements. In addition to democracy and ecological issues, green politics is concerned with civil liberties, social justice and nonviolence.
Green economics focuses on the importance of the health of the biosphere to human well-being. Consequently, most Greens distrust conventional capitalism, as it tends to emphasize economic growth while ignoring ecological health; the "full cost" of economic growth often includes damage to the biosphere, which is unacceptable according to green politics. Green economics considers such growth to be "uneconomic growth"— material increase that nonetheless lowers overall quality of life.
Some Greens refer to productivism, consumerism and scientism as "grey", as contrasted with "green", economic views. "Grey" implies age, concrete, and lifelessness.
Therefore, adherents to green politics advocate economic policies designed to safeguard the environment. Greens want governments to stop subsidizing companies that waste resources or pollute the natural world, subsidies that Greens refer to as "dirty subsidies". Some currents of green politics place automobile and agribusiness subsidies in this category, as they may harm human health. On the contrary, Greens look to a green tax shift that will encourage both producers and consumers to make ecologically friendly choices.
Green economics is on the whole anti-globalist. Economic globalization is considered a threat to well-being, which will replace natural environments and local cultures with a single trade economy, termed the global economic monoculture.
Since green economics emphasizes biospheric health, an issue outside the traditional left-right spectrum, different currents within green politics incorporate ideas from socialism and capitalism. Greens on the Left are often identified as Eco-socialists, who merge ecology and environmentalism with socialism and Marxism and blame the capitalist system for environmental degradation, social injustice, inequality and conflict. Eco-capitalists, on the other hand, believe that the free market system, with some modification, is capable of addressing ecological problems.
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