ABSTRACT

Common sense and literature tell a story where some nations in Europe are green and virtuous and others are not. The eternal ‘spirit of the people’ would lead some countries to environmental commitment and others to artificial worlds; to a deliberate and even joyful destruction of nature. Such are the differences described between Protestants and Catholics: the French artificial alignment of Versailles pitted against the blurred natural British gardens; or the Mediterranean taste for vibrant city crowds contrasted with the romantic German solitude of the forest; not to mention the Slavic soul and its infinite nostalgia for nature. This traditional literature probably encourages the current commonplaces about the green German and Nordic models, as opposed to the environmental laxness imagined in Mediterranean countries.