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Encyclopedia > Environmental movement in the United States
1970s US postage stamp block
1970s US postage stamp block

In the United States today,the organized environmental movement is represented by a wide range of organizations sometimes called non-governmental organizations or NGOs. These organizations exist on local national and international scales. Environmental NGOs vary widely in political views and in the amount they seek to influence the environmental policy of the United States and other governments. The environmental movement today consists of both large national groups and also many smaller local groups with local concerns. Some resemble the old U.S. conservation movement - whose modern expression is the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and National Geographic Society - American organizations with a worldwide influence. Download high resolution version (1893x1221, 550 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1893x1221, 550 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The environmental movement (a term that sometimes includes the conservation and green movements) is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement. ... A non-governmental organization (NGO) is an organization which is not a part of a government. ...

Contents

Scope of the movement

The largest and most influential environmental organizations in the United States, according to Andrew Rowell are the so called Group of Ten: Defenders of Wildlife ,Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, Izaak Walton League, Sierra Club, Wilderness Society and the World Wide Fund for Nature [1] Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. ... Environmental Defense (formerly known as the Environmental Defense Fund or EDF), is a US-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group. ... Headquarter of National Audubon Society in New York. ... The National Wildlife Federation is the largest American conservation organization, with over 5 million members and supporters in 47 state-affiliated organizations; its annual budget is over $125 million as of 2006. ... The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) [1] is a leftist, New York City-based, non-profit, non-partisan environmental advocacy group, with offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and Los Angeles. ... Friends of the Earth is an international network of environmental organizations in 70 countries. ... The Izaak Walton League is an American environmental organization founded in 1922 that promotes natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. ... The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. ... The Wilderness Society may refer to: The Wilderness Society (Australia) - an Australian not-for-profit non-governmental organisation that fights environmental issues The Wilderness Society (United States) - a not-for-profit organization in the United States that advocates for the protection of U.S. public lands. ... The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization for the conservation, research and restoration of the natural environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in the United States and Canada. ...

  • The Conservation movement which began in the late 1800s The early conservation movement included fisheries and wildlife management, water, soil conservation and sustainable forestry, today it includes sustainable yield of natural resources, preservation of wilderness areas and biodiversity
  • The modern Environmental movement, which began in the 1960s with concern about air and water pollution, became broader in scope to including all landscapes and human activities. See List of environmental issues.
  • Environmental health movement dating at least to Progressive Era urban reforms including clean water supply, more efficient removal of raw sewage and reduction in crowded and unsanitary living conditions. Today Environmental health is more related to nutrition, preventive medicine, aging well and other concerns specific to the human body's well-being.
  • Sustainability movement which started in the 1980s focused on Gaia theory, value of Earth and other interrelations between human sciences and human responsibilities. Its spinoff Deep Ecology was more spiritual but often claimed to be science.
  • Environmental justice is a movement that began in the U.S. in the 1980s and seeks an end to environmental racism. Often, low-income and minority communities are located close to highways, garbage dumps, and factories, where they are exposed to greater pollution and environmental health risk than the rest of the population. The Environmental Justice movement seeks to link "social" and "ecological" environmental concerns, while at the same time keeping environmentalists conscious of the dynamics in their own movement, i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, classicism, and other malaises of dominant culture.

As public awareness and the environmental sciences have improved in recent years, environmental issues have broadened to include key concepts such as "sustainability" and also new emerging concerns such as ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, and biogenetic pollution. The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future. ... A fishery (plural: fisheries) is an organized effort by humans to catch fish or other aquatic species, an activity known as fishing. ... Wildlife management is the process of keeping certain wildlife populations at desirable levels determined by wildlife managers. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ... Sustainable forestry is a forest management concept. ... For other uses, see Wilderness (disambiguation). ... Rainforests are among the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth Biodiversity is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. ... This is a list of environmental issues that is due to human activity. ... Sustainable living refers to an individual or societys lifestyle that can be sustained with limited exhaustion of natural resources. ... Environmental justice Environmental justice (EJ) is a holistic effort to analyze and overcome the power structures that have traditionally thwarted environmental reforms. ... Environmental policy making or enforcement thereof that specifically and directly affects people of color, certain ethnic/racial groups, or native wild species in a negative manner. ... This is a list of environmental issues that is due to human activity. ... The Earth Day flag includes a NASA photo. ... Global monthly average total ozone amount Ozone depletion describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total amount of ozone in Earths stratosphere since the late 1970s; and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ... The term acid rain is commonly used to mean the deposition of acidic components in rain, snow, fog, dew, or dry particles. ...


Environmental movements often interact or are linked with other social movements, e.g. for peace, human rights, and animal rights; and against nuclear weapons and/or nuclear power, endemic diseases, poverty, hunger, etc. Gari Melchers, Mural of Peace, 1896. ... Human rights are rights which some hold to be inalienable and belonging to all humans. ... A man holds a monkey with a limb missing by a rope around her neck, a scene epitomizing the idea of animal ownership. ... The mushroom cloud of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan, 1945, rose some 18 kilometers (11 mi) above the hypocenter A nuclear weapon derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions of fusion or fission. ... This article is about applications of nuclear fission reactors as power sources. ... A boy from Jakarta, Indonesia shows his find. ... Hunger is a feeling experienced when the glycogen level of the liver falls below a threshold, usually followed by a desire to eat. ...


History

Early European settlers to the United States brought from Europe the concept of the commons. In the colonial era, access to natural resources was allocated by individual towns, disputes over fisheries or land use were resolved at the local level. Changing technologies however, strained traditional ways of resolving disputes of resource use and local governments had limited control over powerful special interests. For example the damming of rivers for mills cut off upriver towns from fisheries. Logging and clearing of forest in watersheds harmed local fisheries downstream. In New England many farmers became uneasy as they noticed clearing of forest changed stream flows and a decrease in bird population which helped control insects pests. These concerns become widely know with the publication of Man and Nature (1864) by George Perkins Marsh In England and Wales, a common is a piece of land over which other people -- often neighbouring landowners -- could exercise one of a number of traditional rights, such as allowing their cattle to graze upon it. ... Man and Nature is a book written by George Perkins Marsh in 1864. ... George Perkins Marsh (March 15, 1801 – July 23, 1882), an American diplomat and philologist, is considered by some to be Americas first environmentalist. ...


Conservation Movement

Conservation first became a national issue during the progressive era's conservation movement. The early national conservation movement shifted emphasis to scientific management which favored larger enterprises and control began to shift from local governments to the states and the federal government.(Judd) Some writers credit sportsman, hunters and fisherman with the increasing influence of the conservation movement. In the 1870s sportsman magazines such as American Sportsmen, Forest and Stream, and Field and Stream are seen as leading to the growth of the conservation movement.(Reiger) This conservation movement also urged the establishment of state and national parks and forests, wildlife refuges, and national monuments intended to preserve noteworthy natural features. In the United States, the Progressive Era was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. ... The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future. ... Field & Stream (F&S for short, originally published as Forest and Stream) is a magazine featuring hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities in the United States. ...


Influential conservationists included President Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, Gifford Pinchot prominent sportsmen founded the Boone and Crockett Club, the Izaak Walton League and John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club in 1892. Conservationists organized the National Parks Conservation Association, the Audubon Society, and other groups that still remain active. For other persons named Theodore Roosevelt, see Theodore Roosevelt (disambiguation). ... George Bird Grinnell (1849 – 1938) was an American anthropologist, historian, naturalist, and writer. ... Gifford Pinchot (August 11, 1865 – October 4, 1946) was the first Chief of the United States Forest Service (1905–1910) and the Republican Governor of Pennsylvania (1923–1927, 1931–1935). ... The Boone and Crockett Club is a conservationist organization, founded in the United States in 1877 by Theodore Roosevelt. ... The Izaak Walton League is an American environmental organization founded in 1922 that promotes natural resource protection and outdoor recreation. ... For other persons named John Muir, see John Muir (disambiguation). ... The Sierra Club is an American environmental organization founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California by the well-known preservationist John Muir, who became its first president. ... The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is the only environmental organization devoted exclusively to advocacy on behalf of the National Parks. ... The National Audubon Society is an American non-profit environmental organization dedicated to nature conservancy. ...


After World War II increasing encroachment on wilderness land evoked the continued resistance of conservationists, who succeeded in blocking a number of projects in the 1950s and 1960s, including the proposed Bridge Canyon Dam that would have backed up the waters of the Colorado River into the Grand Canyon National Park. Grand Canyon National Park is one of the United States oldest national parks and is located in Arizona. ...


The Inter-American Conference on the Conservation of Renewable Natural Resources met in 1948 as a collection of nearly 200 scientists from all over the Americans forming the trusteeship principle that:


"No generation can exclusively own the renewable resources by which it lives. We hold the commonwealth in trust for prosperity, and to lessen or destroy it is to commit treason against the future"[2](Sound familiar? Look at the definition from the Brundtland Commission of sustainable development in 1987). The Brundtland Commission - formally the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), known by the name of its Chair Gro Harlem Brundtland, was convened by the United Nations in response to the 1983 General Assembly Resolution A/38/161 - Process of preparation of the Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000... Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ...


Beginning of the modern movement

Earth Day Flag
Earth Day Flag

During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, several events occurred which raised the public awareness of harm to the environment caused by man. In 1954, the 23 man crew of the Japanese fishing vessel Lucky Dragon was exposed to radioactive fallout from a hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll, in 1969, an ecological catastrophic oil spill from an offshore well in California's Santa Barbara Channel, Barry Commoner's protest against nuclear testing, Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring, Paul R. Ehrlich's The Population Bomb all added anxiety about the environment. Pictures of Earth from space emphasized that the earth was small and fragile. Download high resolution version (1085x724, 102 KB)Earth flag created solely from public domain sources and released into the public domain by Derrick Coetzee. ... Download high resolution version (1085x724, 102 KB)Earth flag created solely from public domain sources and released into the public domain by Derrick Coetzee. ... Daigo Fukuryū Maru (第五福龍丸, Daigo Fukuryū Maru; loosely translated as Lucky Dragon No. ... The Flag of Bikini Atoll Bikini Atoll (also known as Pikinni Atoll) is an uninhabited 6. ... Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are often credited with launching the global environmental movement. ... Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1961. ... Paul Ralph Ehrlich (born May 29, 1932 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is a Stanford University professor and a renowned entomologist specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies). ... The Population Bomb (1968) is a book written by Paul R. Ehrlich. ...


As the public become more aware of environmental issues, concern about air pollution, water pollution, solid waste disposal, dwindling energy resources, radiation, pesticide poisoning (particularly as described in Rachel Carson's influential Silent Spring, 1962), noise pollution, and other environmental problems engaged a broadening number of sympathizers. That public support for environmental concerns was wide-spread became clear in the Earth Day demonstrations of 1970. Unofficial Earth Day flag, by John McConnell, including a NASA photo. ...


Unlike the Progressive Era's conservation movement, which was largely elitist consisting of largely of wealthy, political powerful men the modern environmental movement was a social movement with more popular support. The environmental movement borrowed tactics from both the successful civil rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam war. In the United States, the Progressive Era was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s. ... Civil rights or positive rights are those legal rights retained by citizens and protected by the government. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000...


Wilderness preservation

In the modern wilderness preservation movement, important philosophical roles are played by the writings of John Muir who had been activist in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Along with Muir perhaps most influential in the modern movement is Henry David Thoreau who published Walden in 1854. Also important was forester and ecologist Aldo Leopold founder of the Wilderness Society in 1935, who wrote a classic of nature observation and ethical philosophy, A Sand County Almanac, published in 1949. Other philosophical foundations were established by Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas Jefferson. For other persons named John Muir, see John Muir (disambiguation). ... Thoreau redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... A forester is a person who is engaged in forestry by creating and managing forests. ... An ecologist studies the distribution and abundance of living organisms and how the distribution and abundance are affected by interactions between the organisms and their environment. ... Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 - April 21, 1948) was a United States ecologist, forester, and environmentalist. ... The Wilderness Society may refer to: The Wilderness Society (Australia) - an Australian not-for-profit non-governmental organisation that fights environmental issues The Wilderness Society (United States) - a not-for-profit organization in the United States that advocates for the protection of U.S. public lands. ... This article or section is not written in the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia article. ... See also: 1948 in literature, other events of 1949, 1950 in literature, list of years in literature. ... Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American essayist, poet, and leader of the Transcendentalist movement in the early nineteenth century. ... Thomas Jefferson (13 April 1743 N.S.–4 July 1826) was the third President of the United States (1801–09), the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers for his promotion of the ideals of Republicanism in the United States. ...


Federal legislation in the 1970s

Prior to the 1970s the protection of basic air and water supplies was a matter mainly left to each state. During the '70s, responsibility for clean air and water to shifted to the federal government. Growing concerns, both environmental and economic, from cites and towns as well as sportsman and other local groups senators such as Maine's Edmund S. Muskie generated extensive legislation, notably the Clean Air Act of 1970. Other legislation included National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), signed into law in 1970, which established an United States Environmental Protection Agency and a Council on Environmental Quality; ; the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972; the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the Safe Drinking Water Act (1974), the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (1976), the Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1977, which became known as the Clean Water Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, commonly known as the Superfund Act (1980). These laws regulated toxic substances, pesticides, and ocean dumping; and protected wildlife, wilderness, and wild and scenic rivers. Moreover, the new laws provide for pollution research, standard setting, monitoring, and enforcement. Edmund Muskie Edmund Sixtus Muskie (Edmund Marciszewski) (March 28, 1914–March 26, 1996) was a Polish-American politician from Maine. ... Smog over Shanghai. ... The National Environmental Protection Act of 1969 established the Environmental Protection Agency. ... EPA redirects here. ... The Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) is a division of the White House that coordinates federal environmental efforts in the United States and works closely with agencies and other White House offices in the development of environmental and energy policies and initiatives. ... This act gave authority to Surgeon General to make programs to reduce or eliminate water pollution in rivers, underground rivers, and other waterways. ... For other uses, see ESA (disambiguation). ... The Safe Drinking Water Act was an act passed by Congress on December 16, 1974. ... The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is a Federal law of the United States contained in 42 U.S.C. §§6901-6992k. ... For Clean Water Act of Ontario, Canada, see Clean Water Act (Ontario). ... Checking the status of a cleanup site Superfund is the common name for the United States environmental law that is officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, ), which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal...


The creation of these laws led to a major shift in the environmental movement. Groups such as the Sierra Club shifted focus from local issues to becoming a lobby in Washington and new groups, for example, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Environmental Defense, arose to influence politics as well. (Larson)


Renewed focus on local action

In the 1980s President Ronald Reagan sought to curtail scope of environmental protection taking steps such as appointing James G. Watt who was called one of the most "blatantly anti-environmental political appointees". The major environmental groups responded with mass mailings which led to increased membership and donations. The large environmental organization increasingly relied on ties within Washington DC to advance their environmental agenda. At the same time membership in environmental groups became more suburban and urban. Groups such as animal rights, and the gun control lobby became linked with environmentalism while sportsman, farmers and ranchers were no longer influential in the movement. When industry groups lobbied to weaken regulation and a backlash against environmental regulations, the so called wise use movement gained importance and influence. The wise use movement and anti-environmental groups were able to portray environmentalist as out of touch with main-stream values. (Larson) Reagan redirects here. ... James Gaius Watt (born January 31, 1938 in Lusk, Wyoming) served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior under President Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1983. ... The Wise use movement in the United States is a loose-knit coalition of groups promoting private property rights and use of the natural environment as a natural part of human survival. ...


"Post-Environmentalism"

In 2004, with the environmental movement seemingly stalled, some environmentalists started questioning whether "environmentalism" was even a useful political framework. According to a controversial essay titled "The Death of Environmentalism " (Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, 2004) American environmentalism has been remarkably successful in protecting the air, water, and large stretches of wilderness in North America and Europe, but these environmentalists have stagnated as a vital force for cultural and political change. Year 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... North American redirects here. ...


Shellenberger and Nordhaus wrote, "Today environmentalism is just another special interest. Evidence for this can be found in its concepts, its proposals, and its reasoning. What stands out is how arbitrary environmental leaders are about what gets counted and what doesn't as 'environmental.' Most of the movement's leading thinkers, funders, and advocates do not question their most basic assumptions about who we are, what we stand for, and what it is that we should be doing." Their essay was followed by a speech in San Francisco called "Is Environmentalism Dead?" by former Sierra Club President, Adam Werbach, who argued for the evolution of environmentalism into a more expansive, relevant and powerful progressive politics. Werbach endorsed building an environmental movement that is more relevant to average Americans, and controversially chose to lead Wal-Mart's effort to take sustainability mainstream.


These "post-environmental movement" thinkers argue that the ecological crises the human species faces in the 21st century are qualitatively different from the problems the environmental movement was created to address in the 1960s and 1970s. Climate change and habitat destruction, they argue, are global, more complex, and demand far deeper transformations of the economy, the culture and political life. The consequence of environmentalism's outdated and arbitrary definition, they argue, is political irrelevancy.


These "politically neutral" groups tend to avoid global conflicts and view the settlement of inter-human conflict as separate from regard for nature - in direct contradiction to the ecology movement and peace movement which have increasingly close links: While Green Parties and Greenpeace, and groups like the ACTivist Magazine for example, regard ecology, biodiversity and an end to non-human extinction as absolutely basic to peace, the local groups may not, and may see a high degree of global competition and conflict as justifiable if it lets them preserve their own local uniqueness. This seems selfish to some. However, such groups tend not to "burn out" and to sustain for long periods, even generations, protecting the same local treasures. The Water Keepers Alliance is a good example of such a group that sticks to local questions.


Local groups increasingly find that they benefit from collaboration, e.g. on consensus decision making methods, or making simultaneous policy, or relying on common legal resources, or even sometimes a common glossary. However, the differences between the various groups that make up the modern environmental movement tend to outweigh such similarities, and they rarely co-operate directly except on a few major global questions. In a notable exception, over 1,000 local groups from around the country united for a single day of action as part of the Step It Up 2007 campaign for real solutions to global warming. Step It Up 2007 is a nationwide grassroots environmental campaign started by environmentalist Bill McKibben to demand action on global warming by the U.S. Congress. ...


Groups such as The Bioregional Revolution are calling on the need to bridge these differences, as the converging problems of the 21st century they claim compel us to unite and to take decisive action. They promote bioregionalism, permaculture, and local economies as solutions to these problems, overpopulation, global warming, global epidemics, and water scarcity, but most notably to "peak oil"--the prediction that we are likely to reach a maximum in global oil production which could spell drastic changes in many aspects of our everyday lives.


Environmental rights

Many environmental lawsuits turn on the question of who has standing; are the legal issues limited to property owners, or does the general public have a right to intervene? Christopher D. Stone's 1972 essay, "Should trees have standing?" seriously addressed the question of whether natural objects themselves should have legal rights, including the right to participate in lawsuits. Stone suggested that there was nothing absurd in this view, and noted that many entities now regarded as having legal rights were, in the past, regarded as "things" that were regarded as legally rightless; for example, aliens, children and women. His essay is sometimes regarded as an example of the fallacy of hypostatization.


One of the earliest lawsuits to establish that citizens may sue for environmental and aesthetic harms was Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, decided in 1965 by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The case helped halt the construction of a power plant on Storm King Mountain in New York State. See also United States environmental law and David Sive, an attorney who was involved in the case.


Role of science

Conservation biology is an important and rapidly developing field.


One way to avoid the stigma of an "ism" was to evolve early anti-nuclear groups into the more scientific Green Parties, sprout new NGOs such as Greenpeace and Earth Action, and devoted groups to protecting global biodiversity and preventing global warming and climate change. But in the process, much of the emotional appeal, and many of the original aesthetic goals were lost - these groups have well-defined ethical and political views, backed by hard science.


Criticisms of the Environmental Movement

Some people are skeptical of the environmental movement and feel that it is more deeply rooted in politics than science. Although there have been serious debates about climate change and effects of some pesticides and herbicides that mimic animal sex steroids, science has shown that some of the claims of environmentalists have credence.


Claims made by environmentalists may be perceived as veiled attacks on industry and globalization rather than legitimate environmental concerns. Detractors note that a significant number of environmental theories and predictions have been inaccurate and suggest that the regulations recommended by environmentalists will more likely harm society rather than help nature.


DDT

Main article: DDT

Specific examples include when Rachel Carson, in her book Silent Spring, suggested that the pesticide DDT caused cancer and drastically harmed ecosystems. DDT is highly toxic to aquatic life, including crayfish, daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. However, DDT might be useful in controlling malaria. For other uses, see DDT (disambiguation). ... Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are often credited with launching the global environmental movement. ... For other uses, see DDT (disambiguation). ...


Prominent novelist and Harvard Medical School graduate Michael Crichton appeared before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to address such concerns and recommended the employment of double-blind experimentation in environmental research. Crichton suggested that because environmental issues are so political in nature, policy makers need neutral, conclusive data to base their decisions on, rather than conjecture and rhetoric, and double-blind experiments are the most efficient way to achieve that aim. Michael Crichton, pronounced [1], (born October 23, 1942) is an American author, film producer, film director, and television producer. ... The United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is responsible for dealing with matters related to the environment and infrastructure. ... The double blind method is an important part of the scientific method, used to prevent research outcomes from being influenced by either the placebo effect or the observer bias. ...


A consistent theme acknowledged by both supporters and critics (though more commonly vocalized by critics) of the environmental movement is that we know very little about the Earth we live in. Most fields of environmental studies are relatively new, and therefore what research we have is limited and does not date far enough back for us to completely understand long-term environmental trends. This has led a number of environmentalists to support the use of the precautionary principle in policy making, which ultimately asserts that we don’t know how certain actions may affect the environment, and because there is reason to believe they may cause more harm than good we should refrain from such actions. The precautionary principle is a moral and political principle which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the...


Effectiveness

A Sacramento Bee series "State of Denial" article points that limiting extraction of natural resources, for example oil drilling or timber harvest, in the United States without reducing consumption simply shifts the impact of extraction elsewhere. The Harvard Forestry article "The Illusion of Preservation" points out that while resource extraction industries in the United States are relatively heavily regulated the same is not true in less developed countries. Therefore shifting harvest to other counties may cause greater harm.


Elitist

In the December 1994 Wild Forest Review, Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair wrote "The mainstream environmental movement was elitist, highly paid, detached from the people, indifferent to the working class, and a firm ally of big government.…The environmental movement is now accurately perceived as just another well-financed and cynical special interest group, its rancid infrastructure supported by Democratic Party operatives and millions in grants from corporate foundations.”


Wilderness Myth

Writer William Cronon criticizes the modern environmental movement for having a romantic idealizations of wilderness. Cronon writes "wilderness serves as the unexamined foundation on which so many of the quasi-religious values of modern environmentalism rest." Cronon claims that "to the extent that we live in an urban-industrial civilization but at the same time pretend to ourselves that our real home is in the wilderness, to just that extent we give ourselves permission to evade responsibility for the lives we actually lead." WILLIAM CRONON studies American environmental history and the history of the American West. ... For other uses, see Wilderness (disambiguation). ...


Similarly Michael Pollan has argued that the wilderness ethic leads people to dismiss areas whose wildness is less than absolute. In his book Second Nature, Pollan writes that "once a landscape is no longer 'virgin' it is typically written off as fallen, lost to nature, irredeemable." Michael Pollan (b. ...


Debates within the movement

Within the environmental movement an ideological debate has taken place between those with an ecocentric view point and an anthropocentric view point. The anthropocentric view has been seen as the conservationist approach to the environment with nature viewed, at least in part, as resource to be used by man. In contrast to the conservationist approach the ecocentric view, associated with John Muir, Henry David Thoreau and William Wordworth sometimes referred to as the preservationist movement. This approach sees nature in a more spiritual way. Many environmental historians consider the split between John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. During the preservation / conservation debate the term preservationist become to be seen as a pejorative term. Ecocentrism or physiocentrism is a synonym for biocentrism, but differs in that it does not principally distinguish between living and non living forms of nature. ... Anthropocentrism (Greek άνθρωπος, anthropos, man, human being, κέντρον, kentron, center) is the practice, conscious or otherwise, of regarding the existence and/or concerns of human beings as the central fact of the universe. ...


While the ecocentric view focused on biodiversity and wilderness protection the anthropocentric view focus on urban pollution and social justice. Some environmental writers, for example William Cronon have criticized the ecocentric view as have a dualist view as man being separate from nature. Critics of the anthropocentric view point contend that the environmental movement has been taken over by so called leftist with an agenda beyond environmental protection. WILLIAM CRONON studies American environmental history and the history of the American West. ...


Several books after the middle of the twentieth century contributed to the rise of American environmentalism (as distinct from the longer-established conservation movement), especially among college and university students and the more literate public. One was the publication of the first textbook on ecology, Fundamentals of Ecology, by Eugene Odum and Howard Odum, in 1953. Another was the appearance of the best-seller Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, in 1962. Her book brought about a whole new interpretation on pesticides by exposing their harmful effects in nature. From this book many began referring to Carson as the "mother of the environmental movement". Another influential development was a 1965 lawsuit, Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission, opposing the construction of a power plant on Storm King Mountain, which is said to have given birth to modern United States environmental law. The wide popularity of The Whole Earth Catalogs, starting in 1968, was quite influential among the younger, hands-on, activist generation of the 1960s and 1970s. Recently, in addition to opposing environmental degradation and protecting wilderness, an increased focus on coexisting with natural biodiversity has appeared, a strain that is apparent in the movement for sustainable agriculture and in the concept of Reconciliation Ecology. For the journal, see Ecology (journal). ... Eugene Pleasants Odum (1913-2002) was an American scientist known for his pioneering work on ecosystem ecology. The average schoolchild of today knows that humans (along with other life forms) depend on adequate conditions of food, water, and shelter from inclement elements, for instance, and also that weather, geological, and... Howard Thomas Odum (1924-2002) was the son of the noted sociologist Howard W. Odum, and brother of the seminal American ecologist, educator, and author Eugene Pleasants Odum. ... Year 1953 (MCMLIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Silent Spring is a book written by Rachel Carson and published by Houghton Mifflin in September 1961. ... Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are often credited with launching the global environmental movement. ... Year 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Storm King Mountain is along the west bank of the Hudson River south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, New York, USA. Its distinctive curved ridge is the most prominent aspect of the view south down Newburgh Bay, from Newburgh, Beacon and the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... The Whole Earth Catalog was a sizeable catalog published twice a year from 1968 to 1972, and occasionally thereafter, until 1998. ... Year 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (link will display full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from the beginning of 1960 to the end of 1969. ... The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, also called The Seventies. ... It has been suggested that Small-scale agriculture be merged into this article or section. ... Reconciliation Ecology is the concept of accomodating biodiversity within human landscapes. ...


Environmentalism and Politics

This article is part of the
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Environmentalists became much more influential in American politics after the creation or strengthening of numerous U.S. environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act and the formation of the US Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA in 1970. These successes were followed by the enactment of a whole series of laws regulating waste (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act), toxic substances (Toxic Substances Control Act), pesticides (FIFRA: Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act), clean-up of polluted sites (Superfund), protection of endangered species (Endangered Species Act), and more. Lobbying in the United States targets the United States Senate, the United States House of Representatives, and state legislatures. ... In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group organized to elect or defeat government officials in order to promote legislation, often supporting the groups special interests. ... A 527 group is a type of tax-exempt organization named after a section of the United States tax code, created primarily to influence the nomination, election, appointment or defeat of candidates for public office. ... Campaign finance in the United States is the financing of electoral campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels. ... Political campaign Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Campaign finance reform is the common term for the political effort in the United States to change the involvement of money in politics, primarily in political campaigns. ... Agriculture is a major industry in the United States and the country is a net exporter of food. ... The Lawrence textile strike (1912), with soldiers surrounding peaceful demonstrators Labor unions in the United States function as legally recognized representatives of workers in numerous industries. ... Software lobbying groups aim to influence a governments technology policy decisions on behalf of their members. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Abortion in the United States is a highly-charged issue involving significant political and ethical debate. ... A leadership PAC in U.S. politics is a political action committee that can be established by a member of Congress to support other candidates. ... For a history, see Timeline of United States diplomatic history For the published diplomatic papers, see The Foreign Relations of the United States For Foreign relations under George W. Bush, see Foreign policy of the George W. Bush administration. ... Gun Politics in the United States, incorporating the political aspects of gun politics, and firearms rights, has long been among the most controversial and intractable issues in American politics. ... Smog over Shanghai. ... For Clean Water Act of Ontario, Canada, see Clean Water Act (Ontario). ... EPA redirects here. ... Year 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... For other uses, see Waste (disambiguation). ... The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), enacted in 1976, is a Federal law of the United States contained in 42 U.S.C. §§6901-6992k. ... For other uses, see Toxin (disambiguation). ... The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is a United States law, passed in 1976, that regulates the introduction of new chemicals. ... the plane is spreading pesticide. ... is only done after a period of data collection to determine the effectiveness for its intended use, appropriate dosage, and hazards of the particular material. ... Checking the status of a cleanup site Superfund is the common name for the United States environmental law that is officially known as the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 to 9675, which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11... The Siberian Tiger is a subspecies of tiger that are critically endangered. ... For other uses, see ESA (disambiguation). ...


Fewer environmental laws have been passed in the last decade as corporations and other conservative interests have increased their influence over American politics.[citation needed] Corporate cooperation against environmental lobbyists has been organized by the Wise Use group.[citation needed] At the same time, many environmentalists have been turning toward other means of persuasion, such as working with business, community, and other partners to promote sustainable development. American conservatism is a constellation of political ideologies within the United States under the blanket heading of conservative. ... Politics of the United States takes place in a framework of a presidential republic, whereby the President of the United States is head of state, head of government, and of a two-party legislative and electoral system. ... The Wise use movement in the United States is a loose-knit coalition of groups promoting private property rights and use of the natural environment as a natural part of human survival. ... Sustainable development is a socio-ecological process characterized by the fulfilment of human needs while maintaining the quality of the natural environment indefinitely. ...


Much environmental activism is directed towards conservation,[citation needed] as well as the prevention or elimination of pollution. However, conservation movements, ecology movements, peace movements, green parties, green- and eco-anarchists often subscribe to very different ideologies, while supporting the same goals as those who call themselves “environmentalists”. To outsiders, these groups or factions can appear to be indistinguishable. The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future. ... The conservation movement is a political and social movement that seeks to protect natural resources including plant and animal species as well as their habitat for the future. ... The global ecology movement is one of several new social movements that emerged at the end of the sixties; as a values-driven social movement, it should be distinguished from the pre-existing science of ecology. ... An Australian anti-conscription poster from World War One A peace movement is a social movement that seeks to achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war (or all wars), minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of... This article is about the green parties around the world. ... Theory and practice Issues History Culture By region Lists Related Anarchism Portal Politics Portal ·        Green anarchism is a school of thought within anarchism which puts an emphasis on the environment. ... Eco-anarchism argues that small eco-villages (of no more than a few hundred people) are a scale of human living preferable to civilization, and that infrastructure and political systems should be re-organized to ensure that these are created. ...


As human population and industrial activity continue to increase, environmentalists often find themselves in serious conflict with those who believe that human and industrial activities should not be overly regulated or restricted, such as some libertarians. Map of countries by population — China and India, the only two countries to have a population greater than one billion, together possess more than a third of the worlds population. ... See also Libertarianism and Libertarian Party Libertarian,is a term for person who has made a conscious and principled commitment, evidenced by a statement or Pledge, to forswear violating others rights and usually living in voluntary communities: thus in law no longer subject to government supervision. ...


Environmentalists often clash with others, particularly “corporate interests,” over issues of the management of natural resources, like in the case of the atmosphere as a “carbon dump”, the focus of climate change, and global warming controversy. They usually seek to protect commonly owned or unowned resources for future generations. Natural resources are commodities that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form. ... Air redirects here. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 450,000 years For current global climate change, see Global warming. ... Global warming refers to the increase in the average temperature of the Earths near-surface air and oceans in recent decades and its projected continuation. ...


Those who take issue with new untested technologies are more precisely known, especially in Europe, as political ecologists. They usually seek, in contrast, to preserve the integrity of existing ecologies and ecoregions, and in general are more pessimistic about human “management”.[citation needed] For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ...


Radical Environmentalism

While most environmentalists are mainstream and peaceful, a small minority are more radical in their approach. Adherents of radical environmentalism and ecological anarchism are involved in direct action campaigns to protect the environment. Some campaigns have employed controversial tactics including sabotage, blockades, and arson, while most use peaceful protests such as marches, tree-sitting, and the like. There is substantial debate within the environmental movement as to the acceptability of these tactics, but almost all environmentalists condemn violent actions that can harm humans. Some environmentalists take the position that traditional methods of social change like political lobbying, public awareness campaigns, and the like are insufficient for achieving necessary changes in the relationship between humans and the environment. ... Some environmentalists take the position that traditional methods of social change like political lobbying, public awareness campaigns, and the like are insufficient for achieving necessary changes in the relationship between humans and the environment. ... Anarchist redirects here. ... For the Canadian urban guerrilla group Direct Action, see Squamish Five. ... For other uses, see Sabotage (disambiguation). ... A blockade is any effort to prevent supplies, troops, information or aid from reaching an opposing force. ... The Skyline Parkway Motel in Afton, Virginia after an arson fire on July 9, 2004. ... For other uses, see Violence (disambiguation). ... Human beings are defined variously in biological, spiritual, and cultural terms, or in combinations thereof. ...


Notes

  1. ^ No Man's Garden Botkins
  2. ^ New York Times, Sept 18, 1948 in Fairchild, W.B. (1949) "Renewable Resources: A World Dilemma: Recent Publications on Conservation", Geographical Review 39 (1) pp. 86 - 98

References

  • Samuel P. Hayes, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency (Harvard University Press, 1959).
  • Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind, third edition (1967; New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982). ISBN 0-300-02910-1
  • Douglas H. Strong, Dreamers & Defenders: American Conservationists (1971; Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988) ISBN 0-8032-9156-6
  • Stephen Fox, John Muir and His Legacy: The American Conservation Movement (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1981). ISBN 0-316-29110-2
  • Robert Gottlieb, Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1993). ISBN 1-55963-123-6
  • Philip Shabecoff, A Fierce Green Fire: The American Environmental Movement, Island Press, Revised Edition, 2003, ISBN 1559634375
  • Richard W. Judd, Common Lands and Common People: The Origins of Conservation in Northern New England (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1997).
  • John McCormick, The Global Environmental Movement (London: John Wiley, 1995).
  • American Sportsmen and the Origins of Conservation By John F. Reiger
  • Emerging Environmental Majority by Christina Larson
  • The Illusion of Preservation. Harvard Forestry
  • State of Denial
  • The Unlikely Environmentalists

John McCormick is Professor of Political Science at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis(IUPUI), and has been chair since July 2001. ...

See also

The environmental movement (a term that sometimes includes the conservation and green movements) is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement. ... Environmental skepticism is an umbrella term that describes those that believe certain claims put forward by environmentalists, particularly some of the more alarming claims, are exaggerated to some degree. ... Order: 43rd President Vice President: Dick Cheney Term of office: January 20, 2001 – present Preceded by: Bill Clinton Succeeded by: Incumbent Date of birth: July 6, 1946 Place of birth: New Haven, Connecticut First Lady: Laura Welch Bush Political party: Republican George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the... Eco-terrorism or ecoterrorism is the concept of terrorism conducted for the sake of ecological or environmental causes. ... A decidous beech forest in Slovenia. ... Free market environmentalism is a theory that argues the free market is the best tool to preserve the health and sustainability of the environment. ... Map of countries by population density (See List of countries by population density. ... Political ecology is an umbrella term for a variety of projects that involve politics and the environment. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Some environmentalists take the position that traditional methods of social change like political lobbying, public awareness campaigns, and the like are insufficient for achieving necessary changes in the relationship between humans and the environment. ...

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