Amid the policy gridlock that characterizes most environmental debates, a new conservation movement has emerged. Known as “collaborative conservation,” it emphasizes local participation, sustainability, and inclusion of the disempowered, and focuses on voluntary compliance and consent rather than legal and regulatory enforcement. Encompassing a wide range of local partnerships and initiatives, it is changing the face of resource management throughout the western United States.Across the Great Divide presents a thoughtful exploration of this new movement, bringing together writing, reporting, and analysis of collaborative conservation from those directly involved in developing and implementing the approach. Contributors examine: the failure of traditional policy approaches recent economic and demographic changes that serve as a backdrop for the emergence of the movement the merits of, and drawbacks to, collaborative decision-making the challenges involved with integrating diverse voices and bringing all sectors of society into the movement .In addition, the book offers in-depth stories of eight noteworthy collaborative initiatives -- including the Quincy Library Group, Montana's Clark Fork River, the Applegate Partnership, and the Malpai Borderlands -- that explore how different groups have organized and acted to implement their goals.Among the contributors are Ed Marston, George Cameron Coggins, David Getches, Andy Stahl, Maria Varela, Luther Propst, Shirley Solomon, William Riebsame, Cassandra Moseley, Lynn Jungwirth, and others. Across the Great Divide is an important work for anyone involved with collaborative conservation or the larger environmental movement, and for all those who care about the future of resource management in the West.
The 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India was undisputedly one of the world's worst industrial disasters. Some have argued that the resulting litigation provided an "innovative model" for dealing with the global distribution of technological risk; others consider the disaster a turning point in environmental legislation; still others argue that Bhopal is what globalization looks like on the ground.
Kim Fortun explores these claims by focusing on the dynamics and paradoxes of advocacy in competing power domains. She moves from hospitals in India to meetings with lawyers, corporate executives, and environmental justice activists in the United States to show how the disaster and its effects remain with us. Spiraling outward from the victims' stories, the innovative narrative sheds light on the way advocacy works within a complex global system, calling into question conventional notions of responsibility and ethical conduct. Revealing the hopes and frustrations of advocacy, this moving work also counters the tendency to think of Bhopal as an isolated incident that "can't happen here."
Affective Ecologies: Empathy, Emotion, and Environmental Narrative explores our emotional engagement with environmental narrative. Focusing on the American cultural context, Alexa Weik von Mossner develops an ecocritical approach that draws on the insights of affective science and cognitive narratology. This approach helps to clarify how we interact with environmental narratives in ways that are both biologically universal and culturally specific. In doing so, it pays particular attention to the thesis that our minds are both embodied (in a physical body) and embedded (in a physical environment), not only when we interact with the real world but also in our engagement with imaginary worlds.
How do we experience the virtual environments we encounter in literature and film on the sensory and emotional level? How do environmental narratives invite us to care for human and nonhuman others who are put at risk? And how do we feel about the speculative futures presented to us in ecotopian and ecodystopian texts? Weik von Mossner explores these central questions that are important to anyone with an interest in the emotional appeal and persuasive power of environmental narratives.
Anthropos and the Material
Penny Harvey, Christian Krohn-Hansen, and Knut Nustad, editors Duke University Press, 2019 Library of Congress GF75.A645 2019
The destructive effects of modern industrial societies have shaped the planet in such profound ways that many argue for the existence of a new geological epoch called the Anthropocene. This claim brings into relief a set of challenges that have deep implications for how relations between the human, the material, and the political affect contemporary social worlds. The contributors to Anthropos and the Material examine these challenges by questioning and complicating long-held understandings of the divide between humans and things. They present ethnographic case studies from across the globe, addressing myriad topics that range from labor, economics, and colonialism to technology, culture, the environment, agency, and diversity. In foregrounding the importance of connecting natural and social histories, the instability and intangibility of the material, and the ways in which the lively encounters between the human and the nonhuman challenge conceptions of liberal humanism, the contributors point to new understandings of the capacities of people and things to act, transform, and adapt to a changing world.
On a December day in 1968, DDT went on trial in Madison, Wisconsin. In Banning DDT: How Citizen Activists in Wisconsin Led the Way, Bill Berry details how the citizens, scientists, reporters, and traditional conservationists drew attention to the harmful effects of “the miracle pesticide” DDT, which was being used to control Dutch elm disease.
Berry tells of the hunters and fishers, bird-watchers, and garden-club ladies like Lorrie Otto, who dropped off twenty-eight dead robins at the Bayside village offices. He tells of university professors and scientists like Joseph Hickey, a professor and researcher in the Department of Wildlife Management in at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, who, years after the fact, wept about the suppression of some of his early DDT research. And he tells of activists like Senator Gaylord Nelson and members of the state’s Citizens Natural Resources who rallied the cause.
The Madison trial was one of the first for the Environmental Defense Fund. The National Audubon Society helped secure the more than $52,000 in donations that offset the environmentalists’ costs associated with the hearing. Today, virtually every reference to the history of DDT mentions the impact of Wisconsin’s battles.
The six-month-long DDT hearing was one of the first chapters in citizen activism in the modern environmental era. Banning DDT is a compelling story of how citizen activism, science, and law merged in Wisconsin’s DDT battles to forge a new way to accomplish public policy. These citizen activists were motivated by the belief that we all deserve a voice on the health of the land and water that sustain us.
Beyond Earth Day: Fulfilling the Promise
Gaylord Nelson; With Susan Campbell and Paul Wozniak; Foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.; Preface by Tia Nelson University of Wisconsin Press, 2002 Library of Congress GE195.N45 2002 | Dewey Decimal 333.72
Gaylord Nelson’s legacy is known and respected throughout the world. He was a founding father of the modern environmental movement and creator of one of the most influential public awareness campaigns ever undertaken on behalf of global environmental stewardship: Earth Day.
Nelson died in 2005, but his message in this book is still timely and urgent, delivered with the same eloquence with which he articulated the nation’s environmental ills throughout the decades. He details the planet’s most critical concerns—from species and habitat losses to global climate change and population growth. In outlining strategies for planetary health, Nelson inspires citizens to reassert environmentalism as a national priority. Included in this reprint is a new preface by Gaylord Nelson’s daughter, Tia Nelson.
Filtered through the lens of the North American and European media, the Caribbean appears to be a series of idyllic landscapes-sanctuaries designed for sailing, diving, and basking in the sun on endless white sandy beaches. Conservation literature paints a similarly enticing portrait, describing the region as a habitat for endangered coral reefs and their denizens, parrots, butterflies, turtles, snails, and a myriad of plant species.
In both versions, the image of the exotic landscape overshadows the rich island cultures that are both linguistically and politically diverse, but trapped in a global economy that offers few options for development. Popular depictions also overlook the reality that the region is fraught with environmental problems, including water and air pollution, solid waste mismanagement, destruction of ecosystems, deforestation, and the transition from agriculture to ranching.
Bringing together ten essays by social scientists and activists, Beyond Sun and Sand provides the most comprehensive exploration to date of the range of environmental issues facing the region and the social movements that have developed to deal with them. The authors consider the role that global and regional political economies play in this process and provide valuable insight into Caribbean environmentalism. Many of the essays by prominent Caribbean analysts are made available for the first time in English.
The world that was revolutionized by industrialization is being remade
by the information revolution. But this is mostly a revolution from above,
increasingly shaped by a new class of technocrats, experts, and professionals
in the service of corporate capitalism.
Using Marx as a touchstone, Timothy W. Luke warns that if communities
are not to be overwhelmed by new class economic and political agendas,
then the practice of democracy must be reconstituted on a more populist
basis. However, the galvanizing force for this new, more community-centered
populism will not be the proletariat, as Marx predicted, nor contemporary
militant patriotic groups. Rather, Luke argues that many groups unified
by a concern for ecological justice present the strongest potential opposition
Wide-ranging and lucid, Capitalism, Democracy, and Ecology is
essential reading in the age of information.
"Challenging and provocative." -- Robert Holsworth, coauthor
of Affirmative Action and the Stalled Quest for Black Progress
For thousands of years, we’ve found ways to scorch, scour, and sterilize our surroundings to make them safer. Sometimes these methods are wonderfully effective. Often, however, they come with catastrophic consequences—consequences that aren’t typically understood for generations.
The Chemical Age tells the captivating story of the scientists who waged war on famine and disease with chemistry. With depth and verve, Frank A. von Hippel explores humanity’s uneasy coexistence with pests, and how their existence, and the battles to exterminate them, have shaped our modern world. Beginning with the potato blight tragedy of the 1840s, which led scientists on an urgent mission to prevent famine using pesticides, von Hippel traces the history of pesticide use to the 1960s, when Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring revealed that those same chemicals were insidiously damaging our health and driving species toward extinction. Telling the story of these pesticides in vivid detail, von Hippel showcases the thrills and complex consequences of scientific discovery. He describes the invention of substances that could protect crops, the emergence of our understanding of the way diseases spread, the creation of chemicals used to kill pests and people, and, finally, how scientists turned those wartime chemicals on the landscape at a massive scale, prompting the vital environmental movement that continues today.
The Chemical Age is a dynamic, sweeping history that exposes how humankind’s affinity for pesticides made the modern world possible—while also threatening its essential fabric.
In less than a century, the American West has transformed from a predominantly rural region to one where most people live in metropolitan centers. Cities and Nature in the American West offers provocative analyses of this transformation. Each essay explores the intersection of environmental, urban, and western history, providing a deeper understanding of the com- plex processes by which the urban West has shaped and been shaped by its sustaining environment. The book also considers how the West’s urban development has altered the human experience and perception of nature, from the administration and marketing of national parks to the consumer roots of popular environ- mentalism; the politics of land and water use; and the challenges of environmental inequities. A number of essays address the cultural role of wilderness, nature, and such activities as camping. Others examine the increasingly per- vasive power of the West’s urban areas and urbanites to redefine the very foundations and future of the American West.
The weekly magazine Garden and Forest existed for only nine years (1888–1897). Yet, in that brief span, it brought to light many of the issues that would influence the future of American environmentalism. In The City Natural, Shen Hou presents the first “biography” of this important but largely overlooked vehicle for individuals with the common goal of preserving nature in American civilization.
As Hou’s study reveals, Garden and Forest was instrumental in redefining the fields of botany and horticulture, while also helping to shape the fledgling professions of landscape architecture and forestry. The publication actively called for reform in government policy, urban design, and future planning for the preservation and inclusion of nature in cities. It also attempted to shape public opinion on these issues through a democratic ideal that every citizen had the right (and need) to access nature. These notions would anticipate the conservation and “city beautiful” movements that followed in the early twentieth century.
Hou explains the social and environmental conditions that led to the rise of reform efforts, organizations, and publications such as Garden and Forest. She reveals the intellectual core and vision of the magazine as a proponent of the city natural movement that sought to relate nature and civilization through the arts and sciences. Garden and Forest was a staunch advocate of urban living made better through careful planning and design. As Hou shows, the publication also promoted forest management and preservation, not only as a natural resource but as an economic one. She also profiles the editors and contributors who set the magazine’s tone and follows their efforts to expand America’s environmental expertise.
Through the pages of Garden and Forest, the early period of environmentalism was especially fruitful and optimistic; many individuals joined forces for the benefit of humankind and helped lay the foundation for a coherent national movement. Shen Hou’s study gives Garden and Forest its due and adds an important new chapter to the early history of American environmentalism.
An anthropological approach to an emerging form of transnational political engagement by independent civil society organizations
Activism and advocacy have drawn academic interest as alternative ways of achieving collective ends outside established political institutions. However, there has been very little theoretical attention aimed at the interconnections between the two spheres. In Civil Becomings: Performative Politics in the Amazon and the Mediterranean, Raúl Acosta examines the manner in which progressive nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and activists act in a more intermingled and processual way than scholars have previously acknowledged.
Acosta focuses on networks from the vantage point of two NGOs: one in Brazil that concentrated on environmental issues in the Amazon and another in Barcelona called the Mediterranean Social Forum. The focus of this research is not on organizational aspects of collaboration, but rather on the practices and contexts in which such cooperation occurs. Three major aspects of activist and advocacy networks are analyzed: their communicative characters, their collective performances of the political, and the negotiations they engage in between vernacular and cosmopolitan values.
This volume theorizes the cooperative actions of activist and advocacy networks as legitimating processes for the work of participating groups. In doing so, Acosta argues, they address the issues that justify a joint campaign or effort and also crucially underpin each participating collective as a worthy organization of civil society.
When we want advice from others, we often casually speak of “getting some feedback.” But how many of us give a thought to what this phrase means? The idea of feedback actually dates to World War II, when the term was developed to describe the dynamics of self-regulating systems, which correct their actions by feeding their effects back into themselves. By the early 1970s, feedback had become the governing trope for a counterculture that was reoriented and reinvigorated by ecological thinking.
The Culture of Feedback digs deep into a dazzling variety of left-of-center experiences and attitudes from this misunderstood period, bringing us a new look at the wild side of the 1970s. Belgrad shows us how ideas from systems theory were taken up by the counterculture and the environmental movement, eventually influencing a wide range of beliefs and behaviors, particularly related to the question of what is and is not intelligence. He tells the story of a generation of Americans who were struck by a newfound interest in—and respect for—plants, animals, indigenous populations, and the very sounds around them, threading his tapestry with cogent insights on environmentalism, feminism, systems theory, and psychedelics. The Culture of Feedback repaints the familiar image of the ’70s as a time of Me Generation malaise to reveal an era of revolutionary and hopeful social currents, driven by desires to radically improve—and feed back into—the systems that had come before.
The Dark Corner: A Novel
Mark Powell University of Tennessee Press, 2012 Library of Congress PS3616.O88D37 2012 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
“The best Appalachian novelist of his generation.”
—Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Cove
"The Dark Corner is one of the most riveting and beautifully written novels that I have ever read. Trouble drives the story, as it does in all great fiction, but grace, that feeling of mercy that all men hunger for, is the ultimate subject, and that's just part of the reason that Mark Powell is one of America's most brilliant writers."
—Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff
“Mark Powell’s third novel powerfully tackles the ongoing curses of drugs, real estate development, veterans’ plights, and other regional cultural banes that plague an Appalachia still very much alive and with us as its own chameleon-like animal. Brimming with fury and beauty, The Dark Corner is a thing wrought to be feared and admired.”
—Casey Clabough, author of Confederado
“Powell’s work is so clearly sourced to the wellspring of all spiritual understanding—this physical world…He is heir to the literary lineage of Melville, Conrad, Flannery O’Connor, Denis Johnson, and Robert Stone.”
—Pete Duval, author of Rear View
A troubled Episcopal priest and would-be activist, Malcolm Walker has failed twice over—first in an effort to shock his New England congregants out of their complacency and second in an attempt at suicide. Discharged from the hospital and haunted by images of the Iraq War and Abu Ghraib, he heads home to the mountains of northwestern South Carolina, the state’s “dark corner,” where a gathering storm of private grief and public rage awaits him.
Malcolm’s life soon converges with people as damaged in their own ways as he is: his older brother, Dallas, a onetime college football star who has made a comfortable living in real-estate development but is now being drawn ever more deeply into an extremist militia; his dying father, Elijah, still plagued by traumatic memories of Vietnam and the death of his wife; and Jordan Taylor, a young, drug-addicted woman who is being ruthlessly exploited by Dallas’s viperous business partner, Leighton Clatter. As Malcolm tries to restart his life, he enters into a relationship with Jordan that offers both of them fleeting glimpses of heaven, even as hellish realities continue to threaten them.
In The Dark Corner, Mark Powell confronts crucial issues currently shaping our culture: environmentalism and the disappearance of wild places, the crippling effects of wars past and present, drug abuse, and the rise of right-wing paranoia. With his skillful plotting, feel for place, and gift for creating complex and compelling characters, Powell evokes a world as vivid and immediate as the latest news cycle, while at the same time he offers a nuanced reflection on timeless themes of violence, longing, redemption, faith, and love.
MARK POWELL is the author of two previous novels published by the University of Tennessee Press, Prodigals and the Peter Taylor Prize–winning Blood Kin. The recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and Breadloaf Writers’ Conference fellowships, as well as the Chaffin Award for fiction, he is an assistant professor of English at Stetson University.
Located in the heart of England’s Lake District, the placid waters of Thirlmere seem to be the embodiment of pastoral beauty. But under their calm surface lurks the legacy of a nineteenth-century conflict that pitted industrial progress against natural conservation—and helped launch the environmental movement as we know it. Purchased by the city of Manchester in the 1870s, Thirlmere was dammed and converted into a reservoir, its water piped one hundred miles south to the burgeoning industrial city and its workforce. This feat of civil engineering—and of natural resource diversion—inspired one of the first environmental struggles of modern times. The Dawn of Green re-creates the battle for Thirlmere and the clashes between conservationists who wished to preserve the lake and developers eager to supply the needs of a growing urban population. Bringing to vivid life the colorful and strong-minded characters who populated both sides of the debate, noted historian Harriet Ritvo revisits notions of the natural promulgated by romantic poets, recreationists, resource managers, and industrial developers to establish Thirlmere as the template for subsequent—and continuing—environmental struggles.
Why do modern people assume that there will be perpetual economic growth? Because, David W. Noble tells us in this provocative study of cultural criticism, such a utopian conviction is the necessary foundation for bourgeois culture. One can imagine the existence of modern middle classes only as long as the capitalist marketplace is expanding. For Noble, the related—and relevant—question is, how can the middle classes believe that a finite earth is an environment in which infinite growth is possible? The answer, which Noble so painstakingly charts, is nothing less than a genealogy of the uses and abuses of knowledge that lie at the heart of so many of our political problems today.
As far back as Plato and as recently as Alan Greenspan, Noble finds proponents of the idea of a world of independent, rational individuals living in timeless simplicity, escaping from an old world of interdependence and generations. Such notions, although in sync with Newtonian science, have come up against the subsequent conclusions of geology, biology, and the physics of Einstein. In a survey of the responses to this quandary of historians, economists, literary critics, and ecologists, Noble reveals how this confrontation, and its implications for a single global marketplace, has forced certain academic disciplines into unnatural—and untenable—positions.
David Noble’s work exposes the cost—not academic at all—of the segregation of the physical sciences from the humanities and social sciences, even as it demonstrates the required movement of the humanities toward the ecological vision of a single, interconnected world.
"The mission of environmentalism is to mobilize society at all levels to confront the danger and disorder into which human activity has propelled us and guide us to a safer, saner way of living on the planet.... Environmentalism has never been about catastrophe. It is about alternatives, about changing course, about transforming the future." --Philip Shabecoff, from Earth Rising Philip Shabecoff, America's preeminent environmental journalist, has spent more than two decades thinking and writing about the environment and related subjects, as a reporter for The New York Times, as publisher of Greenwire, and as the author of two books, including the critically acclaimed A Fierce Green Fire. In Earth Rising, he draws on that experience to offer a pointed and thought-provoking critique of the current state and future prospects of the American environmental movement.Based on extensive interviews with a wide range of individuals both within and outside of the movement, Shabecoff elucidates the issues and problems confronting today's environmentalists and analyzes the movement's strengths and weaknesses. Viewing environmental threats as symptoms of flaws in our society and its systems, he considers the urgent need for a broader, more inclusive environmentalism, and examines the role environmentalists can -- and must -- play in: reforming the education system taming the global economy and making it an instrument of human needs working for political reform, including reducing the influence of corporate spending on the electoral process directing the course of the scientific enterprise as well as making use of its results helping develop a new moral center for people throughout the nation and the world Throughout, Shabecoff emphasizes the need for national organizations to link together with grassroots groups and to become more responsive to local concerns, and argues that the environmental movement has not yet adequately prepared itself to meet current and coming challenges. He makes a compelling case that another wave of environmentalism is needed -- more powerful, diverse and sophisticated, visionary and flexible. Earth Rising offers a detailed road map that can guide environmentalists toward that new and reenergized place in society.
Although scholars have increasingly investigated the impact of religion and religious movements on nature, studies of the interactions between Mormons and the natural environment are few. This volume applies the perspectives of environmental history to Mormonism, providing both a scholarly introduction to Mormon environmental history and a spur for historians to consider the role of nature in the Mormon past.
Since Joseph Smith’s revelations, Mormons have interacted with nature in significant ways—whether perceiving it as a place to find God, uncorrupted spaces in which to build communities to usher in the Second Coming, wildness needing domestication and control, or a world brimming with natural resources to ensure economic well-being. The essays in this volume—written by leading scholars in both environmental history and Mormon history—explore how nature has influenced Mormon beliefs and how these beliefs inform Mormons’ encounters with nature. Introducing overarching environmental ideas, contributors examine specific aspects of nature and Mormon theology to glean new insights into the Mormon experience.
Lewis Mumford, one of the most respected public intellectuals of the twentieth century, speaking at a conference on the future environments of North America, said, “In order to secure human survival we must transition from a technological culture to an ecological culture.” In Ecohumanism and the Ecological Culture, William Cohen shows how Mumford’s conception of an educational philosophy was enacted by Mumford’s mentee, Ian McHarg, the renowned landscape architect and regional planner at the University of Pennsylvania. McHarg advanced a new way to achieve an ecological culture―through an educational curriculum based on fusing ecohumanism to the planning and design disciplines.
Cohen explores Mumford’s important vision of ecohumanism—a synthesis of natural systems ecology with the myriad dimensions of human systems, or human ecology―and how McHarg actually formulated and made that vision happen. He considers the emergence of alternative energy systems and new approaches to planning and community development to achieve these goals.
The ecohumanism graduate curriculum should become the basis to train the next generation of planners and designers to lead us into the ecological culture, thereby securing the educational legacy of both Lewis Mumford and Ian McHarg.
A rich ethnography of ecopolitics in Hong Kong in the late 1990s, as the region shifted to Chinese sovereignty, Ecologies of Comparison describes how ecological concepts of uniqueness and scale resonated among environmentalists, including those seeking to preserve a species of white dolphin, to protect an aging fishing village from redevelopment, and to legitimize air quality as an object of political and medical concern. During his research, Tim Choy became increasingly interested in the power of the notion of specificity. While documenting the expert and lay production of Hong Kong’s biological, cultural, and political specificities, he began comparing the logics and narrative forms that made different types of specificity—such as species, culture, locality, and state autonomy—possible and meaningful. He came to understand these logics and forms as “ecologies of comparison,” conceptual practices through which an event or form of life comes to matter in environmentalist and other political terms. Choy’s ethnography is about environmentalism, Hong Kong, and the ways that we think about environmentalism in Hong Kong and other places. It is also about how politics, freedom, culture, expertise, and other concepts figure in comparison-based knowledge practices.
Ecology and the Environment: The Mechanisms, Marring, and Maintenance of Nature is the ninth title published in the Templeton Science and Religion Series, in which scientists from a wide range of fields distill their experience and knowledge into brief tours of their respective specialties. In this volume, R. J. Berry, a well-known leader in the field of ecology, describes the basic concepts in ecology and seeks to put them into a general context for a reader who lacks any scientific background.
Berry explores the implications of these basic concepts and how they affect human life and the decisions we have to make, both as individuals and as members of a species which has colonized and influenced every part of the globe. He points out that we are a part of the animal world, but at the same time we are apart from it, and he makes it clear that how we relate to our environment affects the quality of our life—indeed it may affect our very survival. Going well beyond a simple introduction of concepts, the book goes on to explore wider questions about the nature of humanity and how human ecology relates to humanness. Berry proposes that we are more than machines or even advanced apes—we are Homo divinus, transformed from an organism descended from the same stock as the apes but qualitatively different and able to relate to a creator God. The book argues that those who conclude otherwise are neglecting relevant data.
Berry offers the perfect introduction to these philosophical and theological issues, but his work never loses sight of the practical issues either—the kind that are increasingly being addressed by national and international environmental agencies. In order to grasp the full scope of these issues and to more fully understand the ubiquitous news headlines concerning environmental matters, a reader would do well to start with Ecology and the Environment.
Environment in the Balance
Jonathan Z. Cannon Harvard University Press, 2015 Library of Congress KF3775.C365 2015 | Dewey Decimal 344.73046
Does the green movement remain a transformative force in American life? In Environment in the Balance Jonathan Cannon interprets a wide range of U.S. Supreme Court decisions over four decades and explores the current ferment among activists, to gauge the practical and cultural impact of environmentalism and its future prospects.
Environmental Activism and the Urban Crisis focuses on the wave of environmental activism and grassroots movements that swept through America's older, industrial cities during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Robert Gioielli offers incisive case studies of Baltimore, St. Louis, and Chicago to show how urban activism developed as an impassioned response to a host of racial, social, and political conflicts. As deindustrialization, urban renewal, and suburbanization caused the decline of the urban environment, residents--primarily African Americans and working-class whites--organized to protect their families and communities from health threats and environmental destruction.
Gioielli examines various groups' activism in response to specific environmental problems caused by the urban crisis in each city. In doing so, he forms concrete connections between environmentalism, the African American freedom struggle, and various urban social movements such as highway protests in Baltimore and air pollution activism in Chicago. Eventually, the efforts of these activists paved the way for the emergence of a new movement-environmental justice.
Environmental movements are among the most vibrant, diverse, and powerful social movements occurring today, across all corners of the globe. They range dramatically from government lobbyists raising campaign funds to save the North American spotted owl; to “Green Warriors” engaging in guerrilla conflict in the mountains of the Philippines; to small landholders and indigenous peoples vowing to die by meeting the waters of the Narmada River in India as it rises due to its damming.
Drawing on his primary fieldwork in six countries, environmental researcher Timothy Doyle argues that there is, in fact, no one global environmental movement; rather, there are many, and the differences among them far outweigh their similarities. Movements in the third world—such as those in India and the Philippines —tend to be oriented around issues of human health, shelter, food security, and survival; while those of the developed world—for example, the United States, England, Germany, and Australia —can afford to focus on post-materialist issues such as wilderness concerns and animal rights. Doyle also demonstrates that the consequences of these campaigns are as wide-ranging as their motives and methods.
Taking a much-needed step beyond the wealth of nation-centered accounts of environmentalism, this book makes an important contribution to studies concerned with global environmental problems and politics.
Ecological causes are championed not only by lobbyists or hikers. While mainstream environmentalism is usually characterized by well-financed, highly structured organizations operating on a national scale, campaigns for environmental justice are often fought by poor or minority communities. Environmentalism and Economic Justice is one of the first books devoted to Chicano environmental issues and is a study of U.S. environmentalism in transition as seen through the contributions of people of color. It elucidates the various forces driving and shaping two important examples of environmental organizing: the 1965-71 pesticide campaign of the United Farm Workers and a grazing conflict between a Hispano cooperative and mainstream environmentalists in northern New Mexico. The UFW example is one of workers highly marginalized by racism, whose struggle--as much for identity as for a union contract--resulted in boycotts of produce at the national level. The case of the grazing cooperative Ganados del Valle, which sought access to land set aside for elk hunting, represents a subaltern group fighting the elitism of natural resource policy in an effort to pursue a pastoral lifestyle. In both instances Pulido details the ways in which racism and economic subordination create subaltern communities, and shows how these groups use available resources to mobilize and improve their social, economic, and environmental conditions. Environmentalism and Economic Justice reveals that the environmental struggles of Chicano communities do not fit the mold of mainstream environmentalism, as they combine economic, identity, and quality-of-life issues. Examination of the forces that create and shape these grassroots movements clearly demonstrates that environmentalism needs to be sensitive to local issues, economically empowering, and respectful of ethnic and cultural diversity.
We sit at the doorstep of multiple revolutions in robotic, genetic, information, and communication technologies, whose powerful interactions promise social and environmental transformations we are only beginning to understand. How can we anticipate their impacts and ensure that these new technologies help move us in a more sustainable direction?
Environmentalism and the Technologies of Tomorrow is a collection of essays by leading scientists, technologists, and thinkers that examine the nature of current technological changes, their environmental implications, and possible strategies for the transition to a sustainable future. It offers a baseline understanding of new technological developments, as well as important insights for moving beyond business-as-usual by developing more anticipatory approaches to environmental protection and more comprehensive strategies for promoting the transformation of technology.
Among the contributors are Brad Allenby, David Bell, Steward Brand, Michael Braungart, Lester Brown, Joanne Ciulla, Denis Hayes, Hazel Henderson, Amory Lovins, William McDonough, Gary Marchant, David Ronfeldt, John Seely-Brown, Gus Speth, and Timothy Sturgeon.
In this thoughtful and highly readable book, Noël Sturgeon illustrates the myriad and insidious ways in which American popular culture depicts social inequities as “natural” and how our images of “nature” interfere with creating solutions to environmental problems that are just and fair for all. Why is it, she wonders, that environmentalist messages in popular culture so often “naturalize” themes of heroic male violence, suburban nuclear family structures, and U.S. dominance in the world? And what do these patterns of thought mean for how we envision environmental solutions, like “green” businesses, recycling programs, and the protection of threatened species?
Although there are other books that examine questions of culture and environment, this is the first book to employ a global feminist environmental justice analysis to focus on how racial inequality, gendered patterns of work, and heteronormative ideas about the family relate to environmental questions. Beginning in the late 1980s and moving to the present day, Sturgeon unpacks a variety of cultural tropes, including ideas about Mother Nature, the purity of the natural, and the allegedly close relationships of indigenous people with the natural world. She investigates the persistence of the “myth of the frontier” and its extension to the frontier of space exploration. She ponders the popularity (and occasional controversy) of penguins (and penguin family values) and questions assumptions about human warfare as “natural.”
The book is intended to provoke debates—among college students and graduate students, among their professors, among environmental activists, and among all citizens who are concerned with issues of environmental quality and social equality.
Everyday Environmentalism develops a conversation between marxist theories of everyday life and recent work in urban political ecology, arguing for a philosophy of praxis in relation to the politics of urban environments. Grounding its theoretical debate in empirical studies of struggles to obtain water in the informal settlements of Durban, South Africa, as well as in the creative acts of insurgent art activists in London, Alex Loftus builds on the work of key marxist thinkers to redefine “environmental politics.”
A marxist philosophy of praxis—that world-changing ideas emerge from the acts of everyday people—undergirds the book. Our daily reality, writes Loftus, is woven out of the entanglements of social and natural relations, and as such a kind of environmental politics is automatically incorporated into our lives. Nevertheless, one effect of the public recognition of global environmental change, asserts Loftus, has been a resurgence of dualistic understandings of the world: for example, that nature is inflicting revenge on arrogant human societies.
This ambitious work reformulates—with the assistance of such philosophers as Lukács, Gramsci, Lefebvre, and others—a politics of the environment in which everyday subjectivity is at the heart of a revolutionary politics.
Explorations in Environmental History represents four decades of writing from one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of environmental history. Samuel Hays’s dedication and research is apparent in every one of these essays, four of which are published here for the first time.
Environmental alarmism has long been a political bellwether. Tell me what you think about the green apocalypse, and I'll tell you where you stand on the issues. But as the environmental heydays of the 1970s move into perspective, the time has come for a reassessment. Horror scenarios create a legacy whose effects have largely escaped attention. Based on case studies from four continents and the North Atlantic, ExploringApocalyptica argues for a reevaluation of familiar clichés. It shows that environmentalists were less apocalyptic than commonly thought, and other groups were far more enthusiastic. It traces an interconnection with Cold War fears and economic depressions and demonstrates how alarmism faced limits in the Global South. It also suggests that past horror scenarios impose constraints on ongoing debates. At a time when climate change turns from a scenario into an experienced reality, this book charts paths for an age that may have already moved beyond the peak apocalypse.
A frank and engaging exploration of the burgeoning academic field of environmental history
Inspired by the pioneering work of preeminent environmental historian Donald Worster, the contributors to A Field on Fire: The Future of Environmental History reflect on the past and future of this discipline. Featuring wide-ranging essays by leading environmental historians from the United States, Europe, and China, the collection challenges scholars to rethink some of their orthodoxies, inviting them to approach familiar stories from new angles, to integrate new methodologies, and to think creatively about the questions this field is well positioned to answer.
Worster’s groundbreaking research serves as the organizational framework for the collection. Editors Mark D. Hersey and Ted Steinberg have arranged the book into three sections corresponding to the primary concerns of Worster’s influential scholarship: the problem of natural limits, the transnational nature of environmental issues, and the question of method. Under the heading “Facing Limits,” five essays explore the inherent tensions between democracy, technology, capitalism, and the environment. The “Crossing Borders” section underscores the ways in which environmental history moves easily across national and disciplinary boundaries. Finally, “Doing Environmental History” invokes Worster’s work as an essayist by offering self-conscious reflections about the practice and purpose of environmental history.
The essays aim to provoke a discussion on the future of the field, pointing to untapped and underdeveloped avenues ripe for further exploration. A forward thinker like Worster presents bold challenges to a new generation of environmental historians on everything from capitalism and the Anthropocene to war and wilderness. This engaging volume includes a very special afterword by one of Worster’s oldest friends, the eminent intellectual historian Daniel Rodgers, who has known Worster for close to fifty years.
In A Fierce Green Fire, renowned environmental journalist Philip Shabecoff presents the definitive history of American environmentalism from the earliest days of the republic to the present. He offers a sweeping overview of the contemporary environmental movement and the political, economic, social and ethical forces that have shaped it. More importantly, he considers what today's environmental movement needs to do if it is to fight off the powerful forces that oppose it and succeed in its mission of protecting the American people, their habitat, and their future.Shabecoff traces the ecological transformation of North America as a result of the mass migration of Europeans to the New World, showing how the environmental impulse slowly formed among a growing number of Americans until, by the last third of the 20th Century, environmentalism emerged as a major social and cultural movement. The efforts of key environmental figures -- among them Henry David Thoreau, George Perkins Marsh, Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, David Brower, Barry Commoner, and Rachel Carson -- are examined. So, too, are the activities of non-governmental environmental groups as well as government agencies such as the EPA and Interior Department, along with grassroots efforts of Americans in communities across the country. The author also describes the economic and ideological forces aligned against environmentalism and their increasing successes in recent decades. Originally published in 1993, this new edition brings the story up to date with an analysis of how the administration of George W. Bush is seeking to dismantle a half-century of progress in protecting the land and its people, and a consideration of the growing international effort to protect Earth's life-support systems and the obstacles that the United States government is placing before that effort. In a forward-looking final chapter, Shabecoff casts a cold eye on just what the environmental movement must do to address the challenges it faces.Now, at this time when environmental law, institutions, and values are under increased attack -- and opponents of environmentalism are enjoying overwhelming political and economic power -- A Fierce Green Fire is a vital reminder of how far we have come in protecting our environment and how much we have to lose.
From the early 1980s, the U.S. environmental breast cancer movement has championed the goal of eradicating the disease by emphasizing the importance of reducing—even eliminating exposure to chemicals and toxins. From Pink to Green chronicles the movement's disease prevention philosophy from the beginning.
Challenging the broader cultural milieu of pink ribbon symbolism and breast cancer "awareness" campaigns, this movement has grown from a handful of community-based organizations into a national entity, shaping the cultural, political, and public health landscape. Much of the activists' everyday work revolves around describing how the so called "cancer industry" downplays possible environmental links to protect their political and economic interests and they demand that the public play a role in scientific, policy, and public health decision-making to build a new framework of breast cancer prevention.
From Pink to Green successfully explores the intersection between breast cancer activism and the environmental health sciences, incorporating public and scientific debates as well as policy implications to public health and environmental agendas.
The Garden of God
Pope Benedict XVI Catholic University of America Press, 2014 Library of Congress BX1795.H82B4513 2014 | Dewey Decimal 261.88
This book gathers together the audiences, addresses, letters, and homilies of Benedict on a wide-ranging set of topics that deal with the world about us. The major themes and connections he explores are creation and the natural world; the environment, science, and technology; and hunger, poverty, and the earth's resources.
Since the birth of the modern environmental movement in the 1970s, the United States has witnessed dramatic shifts in social equality, ecological viewpoints, and environmental policy. With these changes has also come an increased popular resistance to environmental reform, but, as Eric T. Freyfogle reveals in this book, that resistance has far deeper roots. Calling upon key environmental voices from the past and present—including Aldo Leopold, Wendell Berry, David Orr, and even Pope Francis in his Encyclical—and exploring core concepts like wilderness and the tragedy of the commons, A Good That Transcends not only unearths the causes of our embedded culture of resistance, but also offers a path forward to true, lasting environmental initiatives.
A lawyer by training, with expertise in property rights, Freyfogle uses his legal knowledge to demonstrate that bad land use practices are rooted in the way in which we see the natural world, value it, and understand our place within it. While social and economic factors are important components of our current predicament, it is our culture, he shows, that is driving the reform crisis—and in the face of accelerating environmental change, a change in culture is vital. Drawing upon a diverse array of disciplines from history and philosophy to the life sciences, economics, and literature, Freyfogle seeks better ways for humans to live in nature, helping us to rethink our relationship with the land and craft a new conservation ethic. By confronting our ongoing resistance to reform as well as pointing the way toward a common good, A Good That Transcends enables us to see how we might rise above institutional and cultural challenges, look at environmental problems, appreciate their severity, and both support and participate in reform.
Green Culture is about an idea—the environment—and how we talk about it. Is the environment something simply “out there” in the world to be found? Or is it, as this book suggests, a concept and a set of cultural values constructed by our use of language? That language, in its many forms, comes under scrutiny here, as distinguished authors writing from a variety of perspectives consider how our idea and our discussion of the environment evolve together, and how this process results in action—or inaction.
Listen to politicians, social scientists, naturalists, and economists talk about the environment, and a problem becomes clear: dramatic differences on environmental issues are embedded in dramatically different discourses. This book explores these differences and shows how an understanding of rhetoric might lead to their resolution. The authors examine specific environmental debates—over the Great Lakes and Yellowstone, a toxic waste dump in North Carolina and an episode in Red Lodge, Montana. They look at how genres such as nature writing and specific works such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring have influenced environmental discourse. And they investigate the impact of cultural traditions, from the landscape painting of the Hudson River School to the rhetoric of the John Birch Society, on our discussions and positions on the environment.
Most of the scholars gathered here are also hikers, canoeists, climbers, or bird watchers, and their work reflects a deep, personal interest in the natural world in connection with the human community. Concerned throughout to make the methods of rhetorical analysis perfectly clear, they offer readers a rare chance to see what, precisely, we are talking about when we talk about the environment.
Greening Brazil challenges the claim that environmentalism came to Brazil from abroad. Two political scientists, Kathryn Hochstetler and Margaret E. Keck, retell the story of environmentalism in Brazil from the inside out, analyzing the extensive efforts within the country to save its natural environment, and the interplay of those efforts with transnational environmentalism. The authors trace Brazil’s complex environmental politics as they have unfolded over time, from their mid-twentieth-century conservationist beginnings to the contemporary development of a distinctive socio-environmentalism meant to address ecological destruction and social injustice simultaneously. Hochstetler and Keck argue that explanations of Brazilian environmentalism—and environmentalism in the global South generally—must take into account the way that domestic political processes shape environmental reform efforts.
The authors present a multilevel analysis encompassing institutions and individuals within the government—at national, state, and local levels—as well as the activists, interest groups, and nongovernmental organizations that operate outside formal political channels. They emphasize the importance of networks linking committed actors in the government bureaucracy with activists in civil society. Portraying a gradual process marked by periods of rapid advance, Hochstetler and Keck show how political opportunities have arisen from major political transformations such as the transition to democracy and from critical events, including the well-publicized murders of environmental activists in 1988 and 2004. Rather than view foreign governments and organizations as the instigators of environmental policy change in Brazil, the authors point to their importance at key moments as sources of leverage and support.
An overview of contemporary environmental affairs, from 1940s to the present—with an emphasis on nature in an urbanized society, land developments, environmental technology, the structure of environmental politics, environmental opposition, and the results of environmental policy.
In the Shadows of the State suggests that well-meaning indigenous rights and development claims and interventions may misrepresent and hurt the very people they intend to help. It is a powerful critique based on extensive ethnographic research in Jharkhand, a state in eastern India officially created in 2000. While the realization of an independent Jharkhand was the culmination of many years of local, regional, and transnational activism for the rights of the region’s culturally autonomous indigenous people, Alpa Shah argues that the activism unintentionally further marginalized the region’s poorest people. Drawing on a decade of ethnographic research in Jharkhand, she follows the everyday lives of some of the poorest villagers as they chase away protected wild elephants, try to cut down the forests they allegedly live in harmony with, maintain a healthy skepticism about the revival of the indigenous governance system, and seek to avoid the initial spread of an armed revolution of Maoist guerrillas who claim to represent them. Juxtaposing these experiences with the accounts of the village elites and the rhetoric of the urban indigenous-rights activists, Shah reveals a class dimension to the indigenous-rights movement, one easily lost in the cultural-based identity politics that the movement produces. In the Shadows of the State brings together ethnographic and theoretical analyses to show that the local use of global discourses of indigeneity often reinforces a class system that harms the poorest people.
Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.
In this far-reaching study, Peter Thorsheim explains that, for much of the nineteenth century, few people in Britain even considered coal smoke to be pollution. To them, pollution meant miasma: invisible gases generated by decomposing plant and animal matter. Far from viewing coal smoke as pollution, most people considered smoke to be a valuable disinfectant, for its carbon and sulfur were thought capable of rendering miasma harmless.
Inventing Pollution examines the radically new understanding of pollution that emerged in the late nineteenth century, one that centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion. This change, as Peter Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.
Keeping Oregon Green is a new history of the signature accomplishments of Oregon’s environmental era: the revitalization of the polluted Willamette River, the Beach Bill that preserved public access to the entire coastline, the Bottle Bill that set the national standard for reducing roadside litter, and the nation’s first comprehensive land use zoning law. To these case studies is added the largely forgotten tale of what would have been Oregon’s second National Park, intended to preserve the Oregon Dunes as one of the country’s first National Seashores.
Through the detailed study of the historical, political, and cultural contexts of these environmental conflicts, Derek Larson uncovers new dimensions in familiar stories linked to the concepts of “livability” and environmental stewardship. Connecting events in Oregon to the national environmental awakening of the 1960s and 1970s, the innovative policies that carried Oregon to a position of national leadership are shown to be products of place and culture as much as politics. While political leaders such as Tom McCall and Bob Straub played critical roles in framing new laws, the advocacy of ordinary citizens—farmers, students, ranchers, business leaders, and factory workers—drove a movement that crossed partisan, geographic, and class lines to make Oregon the nation’s environmental showcase of the 1970s.
Drawing on extensive archival research and source materials, ranging from poetry to congressional hearings, Larson’s compelling study is firmly rooted in the cultural, economic, and political history of the Pacific Northwest. Essential reading for students of environmental history and Oregon politics, Keeping Oregon Green argues that the state’s environmental legacy is not just the product of visionary leadership, but rather a complex confluence of events, trends, and personalities that could only have happened when and where it did.
“What does it mean to see the American landscape in a secular way?” asks Nicolas Howe at the outset of this innovative, ambitious, and wide-ranging book. It’s a surprising question because of what it implies: we usually aren’t seeing American landscapes through a non-religious lens, but rather as inflected by complicated, little-examined concepts of the sacred.
Fusing geography, legal scholarship, and religion in a potent analysis, Howe shows how seemingly routine questions about how to look at a sunrise or a plateau or how to assess what a mountain is both physically and ideologically, lead to complex arguments about the nature of religious experience and its implications for our lives as citizens. In American society—nominally secular but committed to permitting a diversity of religious beliefs and expressions—such questions become all the more fraught and can lead to difficult, often unsatisfying compromises regarding how to interpret and inhabit our public lands and spaces. A serious commitment to secularism, Howe shows, forces us to confront the profound challenges of true religious diversity in ways that often will have their ultimate expression in our built environment. This provocative exploration of some of the fundamental aspects of American life will help us see the land, law, and society anew.
The whiteness of mainstream environmentalism often fails to account for the richness and variety of Latinx environmental thought. Building on insights of environmental justice scholarship as well as critical race and ethnic studies, the editors and contributors to Latinx Environmentalisms map the ways Latinx cultural texts integrate environmental concerns with questions of social and political justice.
Original interviews with creative writers, including Cherríe Moraga, Helena María Viramontes, and Héctor Tobar, as well as new essays by noted scholars of Latinx literature and culture, show how Latinx authors and cultural producers express environmental concerns in their work. These chapters, which focus on film, visual art, and literature—and engage in fields such as disability studies, animal studies, and queer studies—emphasize the role of racial capitalism in shaping human relationships to the more-than-human world and reveal a vibrant tradition of Latinx decolonial environmentalism.
Latinx Environmentalisms accounts for the ways Latinx cultures are environmental, but often do not assume the mantle of “environmentalism.”
The accelerating interpenetration of nature and culture is the hallmark of the new "light-green" social order that has emerged in postwar France, argues Michael Bess in this penetrating new history. On one hand, a preoccupation with natural qualities and equilibrium has increasingly infused France's economic and cultural life. On the other, human activities have laid an ever more potent and pervasive touch on the environment, whether through the intrusion of agriculture, industry, and urban growth, or through the much subtler and more well-intentioned efforts of ecological management.
The Light-Green Society limns sharply these trends over the last fifty years. The rise of environmentalism in the 1960s stemmed from a fervent desire to "save" wild nature-nature conceived as a qualitatively distinct domain, wholly separate from human designs and endeavors. And yet, Bess shows, after forty years of environmentalist agitation, much of it remarkably successful in achieving its aims, the old conception of nature as a "separate sphere" has become largely untenable. In the light-green society, where ecology and technological modernity continually flow together, a new hybrid vision of intermingled nature-culture has increasingly taken its place.
In this groundbreaking environmental biography of Abraham Lincoln, James Tackach maps Lincoln’s lifelong relationship with the natural world from his birth and boyhood on Midwestern farms through his political career and presidency dealing with the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the Civil War.
Lincoln was born in a generation that grew up on farms but began to move to cities as industrialization transformed the American economy. Turning away from the outdoor, manual labor of his youth, he chose careers in law and politics but always found solace outside first on the prairies of Illinois and, later, at the woodsy presidential retreat. As Tackach shows, Lincoln relied on examples and metaphors from the natural world in his speeches and writings.
As a member of the Whig Party Lincoln endorsed the Industrial Revolution, which transformed the nation’s economy and its physical, social, and cultural landscapes, and advocated for the creation of railroads, canals, roads, and bridges to facilitate growth and the distribution of products. But he and his party failed to take steps to protect the natural environment. Surveying the destruction of the environment in the mid-nineteenth century, Tackach outlines how some American writers, the first voices for protection and conservation, began to call attention to the results of deforestation and the overhunting of animals during Lincoln’s lifetime.
As commander in chief during the Civil War, Lincoln approved a strategy that included significant infrastructure and environmental damage. In the South, where most of the battles occurred, Union troops burned cities and towns and destroyed plantations, farms, and natural landscapes. Tackach argues that, midway through his presidency, Lincoln seemed to sense that postwar Reconstruction would have to be spiritual, political, economic, and environmental in order to heal the nation’s wounds. He signed the Morrill Act, creating the land-grant colleges, and the environmentally progressive Yosemite Grant Act, which preserved thousands of acres of forest in California.
The first scholar to thoroughly investigate Lincoln’s lifelong relationship with the natural environment, Tackach paints Lincoln’s personal and professional life against the backdrop of nineteenth-century American environmental history, issues, and writers, providing insights into contemporary environmental issues.
Inspired by years of talking with farmers, foragers, loggers, tribal activists, seed savers, fishers, railroaders, and nature lovers of all stripes, Dennis Boyer has created in Listen to the Land a fascinating communal conversation that invites readers to ponder their own roles in grassroots environmentalism. The nearly fifty voices that Boyer recreates here cross genders, generations, and geography. They include an Ojibwe leader contemplating nuclear waste, a houseboat dweller, a woman sharing her skills in gathering edible plants, a caboose-tender, a Milwaukeean fighting urban blight—even a recluse who shoots out streetlights.
Each of the extraordinarily varied perspectives that Boyer recreates here considers the question, How do I interact with the Earth? Each has something important to say that expands our understanding of conservation and environmentalism. Listen to the Land encourages you to read a conversation or two and then go outside and start one of your own.
The most difficult questions of sustainability are not about technology; they are about values. Answers to such questions cannot be found by asking the "experts," but can only be resolved in the political arena. In The Local Politics of Global Sustainability, author Thomas Prugh, with Robert Costanza and Herman Daly, two ofthe leading thinkers in the field of ecological economics, explore the kind of politics that can help enable us to achieve a sustainable world of our choice, rather than one imposed by external forces.The authors begin by considering the biophysical and economic dimensions of the environmental crisis, and tracing the crisis in political discourse and our public lives to its roots. They then offer an in-depth examination of the elements of a re-energized political system that could lead to the development of more sustainable communities. Based on a type of self-governance that political scientist Benjamin Barber calls "strong democracy," the politics is one of engagement rather than consignment, empowering citizens by directly involving them in community decisionmaking. After describing how it should work, the authors provide examples of communities that are experimenting with various features of strong democratic systems.The Local Politics of Global Sustainability explains in engaging, accessible prose the crucial biophysical, economic, and social issues involved with achieving sustainability. It offers a readable exploration of the political implications of ecological economics and will be an essential work for anyone involved in that field, as well as for students and scholars in environmental politics and policy, and anyone concerned with the theory and practical applications of the concept of sustainable development.
Although Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) is often cited as the founding text of the U.S. environmental movement, in The Malthusian Moment Thomas Robertson locates the origins of modern American environmentalism in twentieth-century adaptations of Thomas Malthus’s concerns about population growth. For many environmentalists, managing population growth became the key to unlocking the most intractable problems facing Americans after World War II—everything from war and the spread of communism overseas to poverty, race riots, and suburban sprawl at home.
Weaving together the international and the domestic in creative new ways, The Malthusian Moment charts the explosion of Malthusian thinking in the United States from World War I to Earth Day 1970, then traces the just-as-surprising decline in concern beginning in the mid-1970s. In addition to offering an unconventional look at World War II and the Cold War through a balanced study of the environmental movement’s most contentious theory, the book sheds new light on some of the big stories of postwar American life: the rise of consumption, the growth of the federal government, urban and suburban problems, the civil rights and women’s movements, the role of scientists in a democracy, new attitudes about sex and sexuality, and the emergence of the “New Right.”
On Earth Day 1970 twenty million Americans displayed their commitment to a clean environment. It was called the largest demonstration in human history, and it permanently changed the nation’s political agenda. More than 1 billion people now participate in annual Earth Day activities.
The seemingly simple idea—a day set aside to focus on protecting our natural environment—was the brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. It accomplished, far beyond his expectations, his lifelong goal of putting the environment onto the nation’s and the world’s political agendas.
The life of Nelson, a small-town boy who learned his values and progressive political principles at an early age, is woven through the political history of the twentieth century. Nelson’s story intersects at times with Fighting Bob La Follette, Joe McCarthy, and Bill Proxmire in Wisconsin, and with George McGovern, Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Russell Long, Walter Mondale, John F. Kennedy, and others on the national scene.
Winner, Elizabeth A. Steinberg Prize, University of Wisconsin Press
Motor City Green is a history of green spaces in metropolitan Detroit from the late nineteenth- to early twenty-first century. The book focuses primarily on the history of gardens and parks in the city of Detroit and its suburbs in southeast Michigan. Cialdella argues Detroit residents used green space to address problems created by the city’s industrial rise and decline, and racial segregation and economic inequality. As the city’s social landscape became increasingly uncontrollable, Detroiters turned to parks, gardens, yards, and other outdoor spaces to relieve the negative social and environmental consequences of industrial capitalism. Motor City Green looks to the past to demonstrate how today’s urban gardens in Detroit evolved from, but are also distinct from, other urban gardens and green spaces in the city’s past.
Residents of the Appalachian coalfields share a history and heritage, deep connections to the land, and pride in their own resilience. These same residents are also profoundly divided over the practice of mountaintop mining—that is, the removal and disposal in nearby valleys of soil and rock in order to reach underlying coal seams. Companies and some miners claim that the practice has reduced energy prices, earned income for shareholders, and provided needed jobs. Opponents of mountaintop mining argue that it poisons Appalachia’s waters and devastates entire communities for the sake of short-term gains.
This conflict is emblematic of many other environmental disputes in the United States and around the world, disputes whose intensity derives not only from economic and environmental stakes but also from competing claims to individual and community identity. Looking beyond the slogans and seemingly irreconcilable differences, however, can reveal deeper causes of conflict, such as flawed institutions, politics, and inequality or the strongly held values of parties for whom compromise is difficult to achieve.
Mountaintop Mining in Appalachia focuses on the people of the region, the people who have the most at stake and have been the most active in trying to shift views and practices. By examining the experiences of these stakeholders and their efforts to effect change, Susan F. Hirsch and E. Franklin Dukes introduce key concepts and theories from the field of conflict analysis and resolution. They provide a compelling case study of how stakeholders challenge governance-as-usual, while offering insight into the causes of conflict over other environmental issues.
How a grassroots movement led primarily by women shaped Alabama’s environmental consciousness.
A Movement of the People: The Roots of Environmental Education and Advocacy in Alabama is a detailed history of the Alabama Environmental Quality Association (AEQA). The AEQA helped to establish groundbreaking environmental protection and natural resource preservation policies for the state and the region and grew into one of the nation’s most progressive environmental education efforts.
The AEQA began in 1966 with the relatively simple political action agenda of cleaning up unsightly and unsanitary roadside trash. These inspired citizens collaborated with civic leaders to identify and remove illegal rural dumps and create more regulated landfills statewide. Eventually they became involved in the “Keep America Beautiful” campaign and with the US Public Health Service in its attempt to rid the state of the yellow-fever mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, which breeds in standing, fetid water. The acme of these early efforts was the passage of Alabama’s Solid Waste Disposal Law of 1969, one of the nation’s first such bills.
The AEQA’s dedicated staff and supporters spearheaded other environmental projects, many of which remain active today, such as recycling programs with industry giants throughout the Southeast and the founding of the Bartram Trail Conference, a multistate initiative to identify and preserve the path that Quaker botanist William Bartram took through the territory before its formation into states.
Using recorded interviews with Martha McInnis, executive vice president of the AEQA, and full access to a meticulously preserved archive of the organization’s papers and artifacts, Katie Lamar Jackson relates this previously untold story of remarkable “citizen activism.” A Movementof the People is a valuable account of the organization’s growth and advancement, both economically and societally, which serves as a blueprint for successful civic activism and grassroots organizing.
Through pedagogical narratives, literary analyses, reflective essays, and collaborative dialogues, Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments explores the professional and intellectual tensions of curricula, pedagogies, and personal practices that honor the relationships of interspecies ecologies, reinhabit and reconceive wounded landscapes and wounding institutions, and allow us to reattune ourselves to new yet ancient frameworks for sustainability. For the writers here, fostering sustainability in higher education means focusing on place, creating positive relationships with humans and other beings, and creating administrative structures that will maintain new approaches for the long-term, showing how teaching environmentally is at once intensely site-specific yet powerfully global, deeply personal yet visibly public. Narratives of Educating for Sustainability in Unsustainable Environments confronts the contexts that make environmental pedagogies difficult, the challenges to the well-being of the teacher-scholar, and the corrosive academic structures that compartmentalize knowledge and people. The collection simultaneously offers models for working through and within these challenges to advance understandings and ways of being on local, global, and personal levels that will turn the planetary tide toward effective and shared sustainability.
Caroline Ford Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress GE199.F8F67 2016 | Dewey Decimal 363.700944
Challenging the conventional trope that French environmentalism arose after WWII, Caroline Ford argues that a broad environmental consciousness emerged in France much earlier. In response to war, natural disasters, and imperialism, the bourgeoisie, along with politicians, engineers, naturalists, writers, and painters, took up environmental causes.
Walden Pond. The Grand Canyon.Yosemite National Park. Throughout the twentieth century, photographers and filmmakers created unforgettable images of these and other American natural treasures. Many of these images, including the work of Ansel Adams, continue to occupy a prominent place in the American imagination. Making these representations, though, was more than a purely aesthetic project. In fact, portraying majestic scenes and threatened places galvanized concern for the environment and its protection. Natural Visions documents through images the history of environmental reform from the Progressive era to the first Earth Day celebration in 1970, showing the crucial role the camera played in the development of the conservation movement.
In Natural Visions, Finis Dunaway tells the story of how visual imagery—such as wilderness photographs, New Deal documentary films, and Sierra Club coffee-table books—shaped modern perceptions of the natural world. By examining the relationship between the camera and environmental politics through detailed studies of key artists and activists, Dunaway captures the emotional and spiritual meaning that became associated with the American landscape. Throughout the book, he reveals how photographers and filmmakers adapted longstanding traditions in American culture—the Puritan jeremiad, the romantic sublime, and the frontier myth—to literally picture nature as a place of grace for the individual and the nation.
Beautifully illustrated with photographs by Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter, and a host of other artists, Natural Visions will appeal to a wide range of readers interested in American cultural history, the visual arts, and environmentalism.
Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy. The fifteen essays in Nature and History in Modern Italy investigate that nation’s long experience in managing domesticated rather than wild natures and offer insight into these conflicting visions. Italians shaped their land in the most literal sense, producing the landscape, sculpting its heritage, embedding memory in nature, and rendering the two different visions inseparable. The interplay of Italy’s rich human history and its dramatic natural diversity is a subject with broad appeal to a wide range of readers.
This important book brings together leading environmental thinkers to debate a central conflict within environmental philosophy: should we appreciate nature mainly for its ability to advance our interests or should we respect it as having a good of its own, apart from any contribution to human well-being? Specifically, the fourteen essays collected here discuss the “convergence hypothesis” put forth by Bryan Norton—a controversial thesis in environmental ethics about the policy implications of moral arguments for environmental protection. Historically influential essays are joined with newly-commissioned essays to provide the first sustained attempt to reconcile two long-opposed positions. Bryan Norton himself offers the book’s closing essay.
This seminal volume contains contributions from some of the most respected scholars in the field, including Donald Brown, J. Baird Callicott, Andrew Light, Holmes Rolston III, Laura Westra, and many others. Although Nature in Common? will be especially useful for students and professionals studying environmental ethics and philosophy, it will engage any reader who is concerned about the philosophies underlying contemporary environmental policies.
The Nature of Hope focuses on the dynamics of environmental activism at the local level, examining the environmental and political cultures that emerge in the context of conflict. The book considers how ordinary people have coalesced to demand environmental justice and highlights the powerful role of intersectionality in shaping the on-the-ground dynamics of popular protest and social change.
Through lively and accessible storytelling, The Nature of Hope reveals unsung and unstinting efforts to protect the physical environment and human health in the face of continuing economic growth and development and the failure of state and federal governments to deal adequately with the resulting degradation of air, water, and soils. In an age of environmental crisis, apathy, and deep-seated cynicism, these efforts suggest the dynamic power of a “politics of hope” to offer compelling models of resistance, regeneration, and resilience. The contributors frame their chapters around the drive for greater democracy and improved human and ecological health and demonstrate that local activism is essential to the preservation of democracy and the protection of the environment. The book also brings to light new styles of leadership and new structures for activist organizations, complicating assumptions about the environmental movement in the United States that have focused on particular leaders, agencies, thematic orientations, and human perceptions of nature.
The critical implications that emerge from these stories about ecological activism are crucial to understanding the essential role that protecting the environment plays in sustaining the health of civil society. The Nature of Hope will be crucial reading for scholars interested in environmentalism and the mechanics of social movements and will engage historians, geographers, political scientists, grassroots activists, humanists, and social scientists alike.
Motivated by a deeply rooted sense of place and community, Appalachian women have long fought against the damaging effects of industrialization. In this collection of interviews, sociologist Shannon Elizabeth Bell presents the voices of twelve Central Appalachian women, environmental justice activists fighting against mountaintop removal mining and its devastating effects on public health, regional ecology, and community well-being.
Each woman narrates her own personal story of injustice and tells how that experience led her to activism. The interviews--many of them illustrated by the women's "photostories"--describe obstacles, losses, and tragedies. But they also tell of new communities and personal transformations catalyzed through activism. Bell supplements each narrative with careful notes that aid the reader while amplifying the power and flow of the activists' stories. Bell's analysis outlines the relationship between Appalachian women's activism and the gendered responsibilities they feel within their families and communities. Ultimately, Bell argues that these women draw upon a broader "protector identity" that both encompasses and extends the identity of motherhood that has often been associated with grassroots women's activism. As protectors, the women challenge dominant Appalachian gender expectations and guard not only their families but also their homeplaces, their communities, their heritage, and the endangered mountains that surround them.
30% of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to organizations fighting for environmental justice in Central Appalachia.
In recent years, the concept of “peak oil”—the moment when global oil production peaks and a train of economic, social, and political catastrophes accompany its subsequent decline—has captured the imagination of a surprisingly large number of Americans, ordinary citizens as well as scholars, and created a quiet, yet intense underground movement.
In Peak Oil, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson takes readers deep inside the world of “peakists,” showing how their hopes and fears about the postcarbon future led them to prepare for the social breakdown they foresee—all of which are fervently discussed and debated via websites, online forums, videos, and novels. By exploring the worldview of peakists, and the unexpected way that the fear of peak oil and climate change transformed many members of this left-leaning group into survivalists, Schneider-Mayerson builds a larger analysis of the rise of libertarianism, the role of oil in modern life, the political impact of digital technologies, the racial and gender dynamics of post-apocalyptic fantasies, and the social organization of environmental denial.
Resource protection and public recreation policies have always been subject to the shifting winds of management philosophy governing both national and state parks. Somewhere in the balance, however, parks and preserves have endured as unique places of mind as well as matter. Places of Quiet Beauty allows us to see parks and preserves, forests and wildlife refuges—all those special places that the term “park” conjures up—as measures of our own commitment to caring for the environment. In this broad-ranging book, historian Rebecca Conard examines the complexity of American environmentalism in the twentieth century as manifest in Iowa's state parks and preserves.
Planting the Anthropocene is a rhetorical look into the world of industrial tree planting in Canada that engages the themes of nature, culture, and environmental change. Bringing together the work of material ecocriticism and critical affect studies in service of a new materialist environmental rhetoric, Planting the Anthropocene forwards a frame that can be used to work through complex scenes of anthropogenic labor.
Using the results of interviews with seasonal Canadian tree planters, Jennifer Clary-Lemon interrogates the complex and messy imbrication of nature-culture through the inadequate terminology used to describe the actual circumstances of the planters’ work and lives—and offers alternative ways to conceptualize them. Although silvicultural workers do engage with the limiting rhetoric of efficiency and humanism, they also make rhetorical choices that break down the nature-culture divide and orient them on a continuum that blurs the boundaries between the given and the constructed, the human and nonhuman. Tree-planting work is approached as a site of a deep-seated materiality—a continued re-creation of the land’s “disturbance”—rather than a simplistic form of doing good that further separates humans from landscapes.
Jennifer Clary-Lemon’s view of nature and the Anthropocene through the lens of material rhetorical studies is thoroughly original and will be of great interest to students and scholars of rhetoric and composition, especially those focused on the environment.
The beauty of the Hudson River Valley was a legendary subject for artists during the nineteenth century. They portrayed its bucolic settings and humans in harmony with nature as the physical manifestation of God’s work on earth. More than a hundred years later, those sentiments would be tested as never before. In the fall of 1962, Consolidated Edison of New York, the nation’s largest utility company, announced plans for the construction of a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant at Storm King Mountain on the Hudson River, forty miles north of New York City. Over the next eighteen years, their struggle against environmentalists would culminate in the abandonment of the project.
Robert D. Lifset offers an original case history of this monumental event in environmental history, when a small group of concerned local residents initiated a landmark case of ecology versus energy production. He follows the progress of this struggle, as Con Ed won approvals and permits early on, but later lost ground to environmentalists who were able to raise questions about the potential damage to the habitat of Hudson River striped bass.
Lifset uses the struggle over Storm King to examine how environmentalism changed during the 1960s and 1970s. He also views the financial challenges and increasingly frequent blackouts faced by Con Ed, along with the pressure to produce ever-larger quantities of energy.
As Lifset demonstrates, the environmental cause was greatly empowered by the fact that through this struggle, for the first time, environmentalists were able to gain access to the federal courts. The environmental cause was also greatly advanced by adopting scientific evidence of ecological change, combined with mounting public awareness of the environmental consequences of energy production and consumption. These became major factors supporting the case against Con Ed, spawning a range of new local, regional, and national environmental organizations and bequeathing to the Hudson River Valley a vigilant and intense environmental awareness. A new balance of power emerged, and energy companies would now be held to higher standards that protected the environment.
Health care is ubiquitous in the industrialized world. Yet, every medical development, technique, and procedure impacts the environment. Green bioethics synthesizes environmental ethics and biomedical ethics, thus creating an interdisciplinary approach to sustainable health care. Notably, green bioethics addresses not the structure of environmental sustainability in health-care institutions but the sustainability of individual health-care offerings. It parallels traditional biomedical ethics by providing four principles for ethical guidance: distributive justice, resource conservation, simplicity, and ethical economics. Through these four principles, green bioethics presents a coherent framework for evaluating the sustainability of medical developments, techniques, and procedures. The future of our world may very well depend on how effectively we halt ecological destruction and conserve our resources in all areas of life. The principles of green bioethics, outlined in this book, will advance sustainability in health care.
Politics today is dominated by business news and the stock market. But those in support of green politics ask whether human profit should continue to be the bottom line of political deliberations or if it is time for the interests of the natural world to combine with or even displace the interests of business. In The Promise of Green Politics Douglas Torgerson offers a survey of different schools of ecological thought, discusses their implications for the larger political sphere, and advances a three-dimensional concept of politics that emphasizes ethics and discourse as well as strategy. Arguing that the environmental movement has the potential to contribute to contemporary developments in political theory and social action by changing discursive practices both at the grassroots level and along the corridors of power, Torgerson draws on the theories of Hannah Arendt and others to advocate a performative type of political debate that values multiple opinions and is not always oriented toward reaching a single conclusion. Torgerson argues that in a world stuck in administrative and scientific gridlock, the theatrical, comic aspects of green politics are as important as other, more goal-oriented, aspects. Gestures of the carnivalesque—such as protestors sleeping in hammocks slung from trees targeted for destruction or funeral processions held for dying rivers—could be the key to the creation of what Torgerson refers to as a “green public sphere,” one that promises a reconfiguration of the relationship between human creativity and the natural world. While offering a number of concrete policy suggestions, his focus remains on the complexity and heterogeneity of green thinking and on the transformative promise implicit in green politics. In creating new ways to speak about the environment, Torgerson argues, the green movement offers a creative way to reconsider many larger issues of political theory and action. The Promise of Green Politics will serve as a gateway to new thinking about green politics and the emerging possibilities of a diverse and vital green public sphere. As such, it will be valued by those interested in environmental and public policy, political theory, social activism, and the future of political action.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Uber: companies like these have come to embody innovation, efficiency, and success. How often is the environmental movement characterized in the same terms? Sadly, conservation is frequently seen as a losing battle, waged by well-meaning, but ultimately ineffective idealists. Joe Whitworth argues it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, it can’t be this way if we are to maintain our economy, let alone our health or the planet’s.
In Quantified, Whitworth draws lessons from the world’s most tech-savvy, high-impact organizations to show how we can make real gains for the environment. The principles of his approach, dubbed quantified conservation, will be familiar to any thriving entrepreneur: situational awareness, bold outcomes, innovation and technology, data and analytics, and gain-focused investment. This no-nonsense strategy builds on the inspirational environmental work begun in the 1970s, while recognizing that the next economy will demand new solutions.
As President of The Freshwater Trust, Whitworth has put quantified conservation into practice, pioneering the model of a “do-tank” that is dramatically changing how rivers can get restored across the United States. The stories in Quantified highlight the most precious of resources—water—but they apply to any environmental effort. Whether in the realm of policy, agriculture, business, or philanthropy, Whitworth is charting a new course for conservation.
“In Rachel Carson and Her Sisters, Musil fills the gap by placing Carson's achievements in a wider context, weaving connections from the past through the present. Readers will find new insight into Carson and contemporary figures she influenced...who have historically received less attention. Musil’s respect and enthusiasm for these women is evident throughout the book, making it a deeply engaging and enjoyable read. A valuable addition to scholarship on Rachel Carson, female environmentalists, and the American environmental movement in general. Highly recommended. All academic and general readers.” —Choice
“This is a long overdue book, giving great credit to the long line of women who have done so much to shape our culture’s view of the world around us and of our prospects in it. We desperately need that culture to heed their words!” —Bill McKibben, author Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist
“A vibrant, engaging account of the women who preceded and followed Rachel Carson’s efforts to promote environmental and human health. In exquisite detail, Musil narrates the brilliant careers and efforts of pioneering women from the 1850s onward to preserve nature and maintain a healthy environment. Anyone interested in women naturalists, activists, and feminist environmental history will welcome this compelling, beautifully-written book.” —Carolyn Merchant, author of The Death of Nature and professor of environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, University of California, Berkeley.
“Bob Musil brilliantly documents the rich trajectory of women’s intellectual and political influence, not just on environmentalism but on public policy and activism. Musil offers fascinating details of Rachel Carson’s struggles to be taken seriously as a scientist and unearths the stories of the women—unsung heroes all—who influenced her. A must read for anyone interested in American history, science and environmental politics.” —Heather White, Executive Director, the Environmental Working Group
“Musil uses the life and writings of Rachel Carson as an exemplar of women’s participation in the American environmental movement. He places Carson’s achievements in contexts by illuminating...the lives of trailblazing female scientists who inspired her and for whom she, in turn, paved the way. Extremely well-researched.” —Foreword Reviews
Over the past two decades, a select group of small but highly effective grassroots organizations have achieved remarkable success in protecting endangered species and forests in the United States. The Rebirth of Environmentalism tells for the first time the story of these grassroots biodiversity groups.
Author Douglas Bevington offers engaging case studies of three of the most influential biodiversity protection campaigns—the Headwaters Forest campaign, the “zero cut” campaign on national forests, and the endangered species litigation campaign exemplified by the Center for Biological Diversity—providing the reader with an in-depth understanding of the experience of being involved in grassroots activism.
Based on first-person interviews with key activists in these campaigns, the author explores the role of tactics, strategy, funding, organization, movement culture, and political conditions in shaping the influence of the groups. He also examines the challenging relationship between radicals and moderate groups within the environmental movement, and addresses how grassroots organizations were able to overcome constraints that had limited the advocacy of other environmental organizations.
Filled with inspiring stories of activists, groups, and campaigns that most readers will not have encountered before, The Rebirth of Environmentalism explores how grassroots biodiversity groups have had such a big impact despite their scant resources, and presents valuable lessons that can help the environmental movement as a whole—as well as other social movements—become more effective.
The Earth's biological, chemical, and physical systems are increasingly shaped by the activities of one species-ours. In our decisions about everything from manufacturing technologies to restaurant menus, the health of the planet has become a product of human choice. Environmentalism, however, has largely failed to adapt to this new reality.
Reconstructing Earth offers seven essays that explore ways of developing a new, more sophisticated approach to the environment that replaces the fantasy of recovering pristine landscapes with a more grounded viewpoint that can foster a better relationship between humans and the planet. Braden Allenby, a lawyer with degrees in both engineering and environmental studies, explains the importance of technological choice, and how that factor is far more significant in shaping our environment (in ways both desirable and not) than environmental controls. Drawing on his varied background and experience in both academia and the corporate world, he describes the emerging field of "earth systems engineering and management," which offers an integrated approach to understanding and managing complex human/natural systems that can serve as a basis for crafting better, more lasting solutions to widespread environmental problems.
Reconstructing Earth not only critiques dysfunctional elements of current environmentalism but establishes a foundation for future environmental management and progress, one built on an understanding of technological evolution and the cultural systems that support modern technologies. Taken together, the essays offer an important means of developing an environmentalism that is robust and realistic enough to address the urgent realities of our planet.
Reconstructing Earth is a thought-provoking new work for anyone concerned with the past or future of environmental thought, including students and teachers of environmental studies, environmental policy, technology policy, technological evolution, or sustainability.
Providing a bold and original rethinking of environmental ethics, Ben Minteer's Refounding Environmental Ethics will help ethicists and their allies resolve critical debates in environmental policy and conservation practice.
Minteer considers the implications of John Dewey's pragmatist philosophy for environmental ethics, politics, and practice. He provides a new and compelling intellectual foundation for the field—one that supports a more activist, collaborative and problem-solving philosophical enterprise.
Combining environmental ethics, democratic theory, philosophical pragmatism, and the environmental social sciences, Minteer makes the case for a more experimental, interdisciplinary, and democratic style of environmental ethics—one that stands as an alternative to the field's historically dominant “nature-centered” outlook.
Minteer also provides examples of his pragmatic approach in action, considering a wide range of application and issues, including invasive species, ecological research, biodiversity loss, protected area management, and conservation under global climate change.
A coal mining technique practiced in southern West Virginia known as mountaintop removal is drastically altering the terrain of the Appalachian Mountains. Peaks are flattened and valleys are filled as the coal industry levels thousands of acres of forest to access the coal, in the process turning the forest into scrubby shrublands and poisoning the water. This is dangerous and environmentally devastating work, but as Rebecca R. Scott shows in Removing Mountains, the issues at play are vastly complicated.
In this rich ethnography of life in Appalachia, Scott examines mountaintop removal in light of controversy and protests from environmental groups calling for its abolishment. But Removing Mountains takes the conversation in a new direction, telling the stories of the businesspeople, miners, and families who believe they depend on the industry to survive. Scott reveals these southern Appalachian coalfields as a meaningful landscape where everyday practices and representations help shape a community's relationship to the environment.
Removing Mountains demonstrates that the paradox that faces this community-forced to destroy their land to make a wage-raises important questions related not only to the environment but also to American national identity, place, and white working-class masculinity.
Reopening the American West
Edited by Hal K. Rothman University of Arizona Press, 1998 Library of Congress GE198.W47R46 1998 | Dewey Decimal 333.720978
Take a good look at the American West and you'll see that the frontier is undergoing constant changes—not only changes made to the land but also changes in attitudes about the land held by the people who live there.
In this book Mike Davis, Stephen Pyne, William deBuys, Donald Worster, Dan Flores, and others re-examine the relationship between people and the environment in the American West over five hundred years, from the legacy of Coronado's search for the Cities of Gold to the social costs of tourism and gaming inflicted by modern adventurers. By exploring places in the West, aspects of the region's past, and ways of understanding some of its pressing issues, the authors foster a better understanding of how people interact and perceive land.
Reopening the American West takes a fresh approach to the history of the region, examining the premises of earlier scholars as well as those who have redefined the study of the West over the past two decades. It combines provocative essays with insightful analyses to address issues that are representative of the West in the twentieth century—multiculturalism, water issues, resource exploitation—and to reopen the West for all readers interested in new ways of looking at its wide-open spaces.
Dreams of Earth, William deBuys
Environmentalism and Multiculturalism, Dan L. Flores
Pyre on the Mountain, Stephen J. Pyne
Las Vegas Versus Nature, Mike Davis
The Legacy of John Wesley Powell, Donald Worster
Pokey’s Paradox: Tourism and Transformation on the Western Navajo Reservation, Hal K. Rothman
Negotiating National Identity: Western Tourism and "See American First," Marguerite Schaffer
Place Humanists at the Headgates, Helen Ingram
Tapping the Rockies: Resource Exploitation and Conservation in the Intermountain West, Char Miller
The Meaning of Place: Reimagining Community in a Changing West, Robert Gottlieb
India’s sacred Ganga River is arguably one of the most iconic sites for worship, with a continuity of rituals for the living and the dead that span over two millennia. Along the river, from high in the Himalaya to the vast plains below, people gather daily to worship the Ganga through prayer and song. But large government-sponsored dams threaten to upend these practices.
In River Dialogues, Georgina Drew offers a detailed ethnographic engagement with the social movements contesting hydroelectric development on the Ganga. The book examines the complexity of the cultural politics that, on the one hand, succeeded in influencing an unprecedented reversal of government plans for three contested hydroelectric projects, and how, on the other hand, this decision sparked ripples of discontent after being paired with the declaration of a conservation zone where the projects were situated.
The book follows the work of women who were initially involved in efforts to stop the disputed projects. After looking to their discourses and actions, Drew argues for the use of a political ecology analysis that incorporates the everyday practice and everyday religious connections that animated the cultural politics of development. Drew offers a nuanced understanding of the struggles that communities enact to assert their ways of knowing and caring for resources that serves as an example for others critically engaging with the growing global advocacy of the “green economy” model for environmental stewardship.
Seattle, often called the “Emerald City,” did not achieve its green, clean, and sustainable environment easily. This thriving ecotopia is the byproduct of continuing efforts by residents, businesses, and civic leaders alike. In Seattle and the Roots of Urban Sustainability, Jeffrey Craig Sanders examines the rise of environmental activism in Seattle amidst the “urban crisis” of the 1960s and its aftermath.
Like much activism during this period, the environmental movement began at the grassroots level—in local neighborhoods over local issues. Sanders links the rise of local environmentalism to larger movements for economic, racial, and gender equality and to a counterculture that changed the social and political landscape. He examines emblematic battles that erupted over the planned demolition of Pike Place Market, a local landmark, and environmental organizing in the Central District during the War on Poverty. Sanders also relates the story of Fort Lawton, a decommissioned army base, where Audubon Society members and Native American activists feuded over future land use.
The rise and popularity of environmental consciousness among Seattle’s residents came to influence everything from industry to politics, planning, and global environmental movements. Yet, as Sanders reveals, it was in the small, local struggles that urban environmental activism began.
American environmentalism is defined by its icons: the “Crying Indian,” who shed a tear in response to litter and pollution; the cooling towers of Three Mile Island, site of a notorious nuclear accident; the sorrowful spectacle of oil-soaked wildlife following the ExxonValdez spill; and, more recently, Al Gore delivering his global warming slide show in An Inconvenient Truth. These images, and others like them, have helped make environmental consciousness central to American public culture. Yet most historical accounts ignore the crucial role images have played in the making of popular environmentalism, let alone the ways that they have obscured other environmental truths.
Finis Dunaway closes that gap with Seeing Green. Considering a wide array of images—including pictures in popular magazines, television news, advertisements, cartoons, films, and political posters—he shows how popular environmentalism has been entwined with mass media spectacles of crisis. Beginning with radioactive fallout and pesticides during the 1960s and ending with global warming today, he focuses on key moments in which media images provoked environmental anxiety but also prescribed limited forms of action. Moreover, he shows how the media have blamed individual consumers for environmental degradation and thus deflected attention from corporate and government responsibility. Ultimately, Dunaway argues, iconic images have impeded efforts to realize—or even imagine—sustainable visions of the future.
Generously illustrated, this innovative book will appeal to anyone interested in the history of environmentalism or in the power of the media to shape our politics and public life.
Does going green change the face of design or only its content? The first book to outline principles for the aesthetics of sustainable design, The Shape of Green argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made.
In addition to examining what makes something attractive or emotionally pleasing, Hosey connects these questions with practical design challenges. Can the shape of a car make it more aerodynamic and more attractive at the same time? Could buildings be constructed of porous materials that simultaneously clean the air and soothe the skin? Can cities become verdant, productive landscapes instead of wastelands of concrete?
Drawing from a wealth of scientific research, Hosey demonstrates that form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design, from products to buildings to cities. Fully embracing the principles of ecology could revolutionize every aspect of design, in substance and in style. Aesthetic attraction isn’t a superficial concern — it’s an environmental imperative. Beauty could save the planet.
“Slow violence” from climate change, toxic drift, deforestation, oil spills, and the environmental aftermath of war takes place gradually and often invisibly. Rob Nixon focuses on the inattention we have paid to the lethality of many environmental crises, in contrast with the sensational, spectacle-driven messaging that impels public activism today.
Given the ubiquity of environmental rhetoric in the modern world, it’s easy to think that the meaning of the terms environment and environmentalism are and always have been self-evident. But in Surroundings, we learn that the environmental past is much more complex than it seems at first glance. In this wide-ranging history of the concept, Etienne S. Benson uncovers the diversity of forms that environmentalism has taken over the last two centuries and opens our eyes to the promising new varieties of environmentalism that are emerging today.
Through a series of richly contextualized case studies, Benson shows us how and why particular groups of people—from naturalists in Napoleonic France in the 1790s to global climate change activists today—adopted the concept of environment and adapted it to their specific needs and challenges. Bold and deeply researched, Surroundings challenges much of what we think we know about what an environment is, why we should care about it, and how we can protect it.
Contemporaries were shocked when author Mary Noailles Murfree revealed she was a woman, but modern readers may be more surprised by her cogent discussion of community responses to unwanted development. Effie Waller Smith, an African American woman writing of her love for the Appalachian mountains, wove discussions of women's rights, racial tension, and cultural difference into her Appalachian poetry. Grace MacGowan Cooke participated in avant-garde writers' colonies with the era's literary lights and applied their progressive ideals to her fiction about the Appalachia of her youth. Emma Bell Miles, witness to poverty, industrialization, and violence against women, wrote poignant and insightful critiques of her Appalachian home.
In The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature Elizabeth Engelhardt finds in all four women's writings the origins of what we recognize today as ecological feminism—a wide-reaching philosophy that values the connections between humans and nonhumans and works for social and environmental justice.
People and the land in Appalachia were also the subject of women authors with radically different approaches to mountains and their residents. Authors with progressive ideas about women's rights did not always respect the Appalachian places they were writing about or apply their ideas to all of the women in those places—but they did create hundreds of short stories, novels, letters, diaries, photographs, sketches, and poems about the mountains.
While The Tangled Roots of Feminism, Environmentalism, and Appalachian Literature ascribes much that is noble to the beginnings of the ecological feminism movement as it developed in Appalachia, it is also unyielding in its assessment of the literatures of the voyeur, tourist, and social crusader who supported status quo systems of oppression in Appalachia.
In the last three decades of the twentieth century, the environmental movement experienced a quiet revolution. In This is Our Land, Cody Ferguson documents this little-noted change as he describes the efforts of three representative grassroots groups—in Montana, Arizona, and Tennessee—revealing how quite ordinary citizens fought to solve environmental problems.
Here are stories of common people who, confronting environmental threats to the health and safety of their families and communities, bonded together to protect their interests. These stories include successes and failures as citizens learned how to participate in their democracy and redefined what participation meant. Equally important, Ferguson describes how several laws passed in the seventies—such as the National Environmental Policy Act—gave citizens the opportunity and the tools to fight for the environment. These laws gave people a say in the decisions that affected the world around them, including the air they breathed, the water they drank, the land on which they made their living, and the communities they called home. Moreover, Ferguson shows that through their experiences over the course of the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s, these citizen activists broadened their understanding of “this is our land” to mean “this is our community, this is our country, this is our democracy, and this is our planet.” As they did, they redefined political participation and expanded the ability of citizens to shape their world.
Challenging us to see activism in a new way, This is Our Land recovers the stories of often-unseen citizens who have been vitally important to the environmental movement. It will inspire readers to confront environmental threats and make our world a safer, more just, and more sustainable place to live.
“The American people sees itself advance across the wilderness, draining swamps, straightening rivers, peopling the solitude, and subduing nature,” wrote Alexis de Tocqueville in 1835. That’s largely how we still think of nineteenth-century America today: a country expanding unstoppably, bending the continent’s natural bounty to the national will, heedless of consequence. A country of slavery and of Indian wars. There’s much truth in that vision.
But if you know where to look, you can uncover a different history, one of vibrant resistance, one that’s been mostly forgotten. This Radical Land recovers that story. Daegan Miller is our guide on a beautifully written, revelatory trip across the continent during which we encounter radical thinkers, settlers, and artists who grounded their ideas of freedom, justice, and progress in the very landscapes around them, even as the runaway engine of capitalism sought to steamroll everything in its path. Here we meet Thoreau, the expert surveyor, drawing anticapitalist property maps. We visit a black antislavery community in the Adirondack wilderness of upstate New York. We discover how seemingly commercial photographs of the transcontinental railroad secretly sent subversive messages, and how a band of utopian anarchists among California’s sequoias imagined a greener, freer future. At every turn, everyday radicals looked to landscape for the language of their dissent—drawing crucial early links between the environment and social justice, links we’re still struggling to strengthen today.
Working in a tradition that stretches from Thoreau to Rebecca Solnit, Miller offers nothing less than a new way of seeing the American past—and of understanding what it can offer us for the present . . . and the future.
Controversial megachurch pastor Mark Driscoll proclaimed from a conference stage in 2013, “I know who made the environment and he’s coming back and going to burn it all up. So yes, I drive an SUV.” The comment, which Driscoll later explained away as a joke, highlights what has been a long history of religious anti-environmentalism. Given how firmly entrenched this sentiment has been, surprising inroads have been made by a new movement with few financial resources, which is deeply committed to promoting green religious traditions and creating a new environmental ethic.
To Care for Creation chronicles this movement and explains how it has emerged despite institutional and cultural barriers, as well as the hurdles posed by logic and practices that set religious environmental organizations apart from the secular movement. Ellingson takes a deep dive into the ways entrepreneurial activists tap into and improvise on a variety of theological, ethical, and symbolic traditions in order to issue a compelling call to arms that mobilizes religious audiences. Drawing on interviews with the leaders of more than sixty of these organizations, Ellingson deftly illustrates how activists borrow and rework resources from various traditions to create new meanings for religion, nature, and the religious person’s duty to the natural world.
Contemporary public policy circles are quick to acknowledge that environmental factors contribute to ill health and pose a particular threat to poor and minority communities. But public officials rarely examined the distribution of environmental hazards such as polluted air and contaminated water. In the 1980s, as toxic waste facilities proliferated, the environmental justice movement demanded that impoverished communities no longer be burdened by excessive environmental risks. In Transforming Environmentalism, Eileen McGurty explores a moment central to the emergence of the environmental justice movement. In 1978, residents of predominantly African American Warren County, North Carolina, were horrified to learn that the state planned to build a landfill in their county to hold forty thousand cubic yards of soil that was contaminated with PCBs from illegal dumping. They responded to the state's plans with a four-year resistance, ending in a month of protests with over 500 arrests from civil disobedience and disruptive actions.McGurty traces the evolving approaches that residents took to contest "environmental racism" in their community and shows how activism in Warren County spurred greater political debate and became a model for communities across the nation. Transforming Environmentalism explores how the specific circumstances of the Warren County events shaped the formation of the environmental justice movement and influenced contemporary environmentalism.
Wars over natural resources have been fiercely fought in the Humboldt Bay redwood region of Northern California, a situation made devastatingly urgent in recent decades of timber war that raised questions of economic sustainability and ecological preservation. In Trouble in the Forest, Richard Widick narrates the long and bloody history of this hostility and demonstrates how it exemplifies the key contemporary challenge facing the modern societies-the collision of capitalism, ecology, and social justice.
An innovative blend of social history, cultural theory, and ethnography, Trouble in the Forest traces the origins of the redwood conflict to the same engines of modernity that drove the region's colonial violence against American Indians and its labor struggles during the industrial revolution. Widick describes in vivid detail the infamous fight that ensued when Maxxam Inc. started clearing ancient forests in Humboldt after acquiring the Pacific Lumber Company in 1985, but he also reaches further back and investigates the local Indian clashes and labor troubles that set the conditions of the timber wars. Seizing on public flash points of each confrontation-including the massacre of Wiyot on Indian Island in 1860, the machine-gunning of redwood strikers by police and company thugs during the great lumber strike of 1935, and the car bombing of forest defenders in 1990-Widick maps how the landscape has registered the impact of this epochal struggle, and how the timber wars embody the forces of market capitalism, free speech, and liberal government.
Showing how events such as an Indian massacre and the death of a protester at the hands of a logger create the social memory and culture of timber production and environmental resistance now emblematic of Northern California's redwood region, Trouble in the Forest ultimately argues that the modern social imaginary produced a perpetual conflict over property that fueled the timber wars as it pushed toward the western frontier: first property in land, then in labor, and now in environment.
From the time when humans first learned to harness fire, cultivate crops, and domesticate livestock, they have altered their environment as a means of survival. In the modern era, however, natural resources have been devoured and defiled in the wake of a consumerism that goes beyond mere subsistence. In this volume, an international group of environmental historians documents the significant ways in which humans have impacted their surroundings throughout history.
John McNeill introduces the collection with an overarching account of the history of human environmental impact. Other contributors explore the use and abuse of the earth’s land in the development of agriculture, commercial forestry, and in the battle against desertification in arid and semi-arid regions. Cities, which first appeared some 5,500 years ago, have posed their own unique environmental challenges, including dilemmas of solid waste disposal, sewerage, disease, pollution, and sustainable food and water supplies.
The rise of nation-states brought environmental legislation, which often meant “selling off” natural resources through eminent domain. Perhaps the most damaging environmental event in history resulted from a “perfect storm” of effects: cheap fossil fuels (especially petroleum) and the rapid rise of personal incomes during the 1950s brought an exponential increase in energy consumption and unforseen levels of greenhouse gasses to the earth’s atmosphere. By the 1970s, the deterioration of air, land, and water due to industrialization, population growth, and consumerism led to the birth of the environmental and ecological movements.
Overall, the volume points to the ability and responsibility of humans to reverse the course of detrimental trends and to achieve environmental sustainability for existing and future populations.
Miles A. Powell Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress GE197.P686 2016 | Dewey Decimal 333.720973
Miles Powell explores how early conservationists became convinced that the vitality of America’s white races depended on preserving the wilderness. Some conservationists embraced scientific racism, eugenics, and restrictive immigration laws, but these activists also laid the groundwork for the many successes of the modern environmental movement.
In Vibrant Matter the political theorist Jane Bennett, renowned for her work on nature, ethics, and affect, shifts her focus from the human experience of things to things themselves. Bennett argues that political theory needs to do a better job of recognizing the active participation of nonhuman forces in events. Toward that end, she theorizes a “vital materiality” that runs through and across bodies, both human and nonhuman. Bennett explores how political analyses of public events might change were we to acknowledge that agency always emerges as the effect of ad hoc configurations of human and nonhuman forces. She suggests that recognizing that agency is distributed this way, and is not solely the province of humans, might spur the cultivation of a more responsible, ecologically sound politics: a politics less devoted to blaming and condemning individuals than to discerning the web of forces affecting situations and events.
Bennett examines the political and theoretical implications of vital materialism through extended discussions of commonplace things and physical phenomena including stem cells, fish oils, electricity, metal, and trash. She reflects on the vital power of material formations such as landfills, which generate lively streams of chemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids, which can transform brain chemistry and mood. Along the way, she engages with the concepts and claims of Spinoza, Nietzsche, Thoreau, Darwin, Adorno, and Deleuze, disclosing a long history of thinking about vibrant matter in Western philosophy, including attempts by Kant, Bergson, and the embryologist Hans Driesch to name the “vital force” inherent in material forms. Bennett concludes by sketching the contours of a “green materialist” ecophilosophy.
"We do not question that flesh and bone and leaf litter will decay to dust, that seeds will sprout season after season and find renewed nourishment in the soil, that rivers can flow endlessly without running dry, that we can breathe a lifetime without depleting the air of oxygen.... What humans have not fully appreciated until recently is that these services are the work of nature, performed by the rich diversity of microbes, plants, and animals on the earth." --from The Work of NatureThe lavish array of organisms known as "biodiversity" is an intricately linked web that makes the earth a uniquely habitable planet. Yet pressures from human activities are destroying biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. How many species can be lost before the ecological systems that nurture life begin to break down?In The Work of Nature, noted science writer Yvonne Baskin examines the threats posed to humans by the loss of biodiversity. She summarizes and explains key findings from the ecological sciences, highlighting examples from around the world where shifts in species have affected the provision of clean air, pure water, fertile soils, lush landscapes, and stable natural communities.As Baskin makes clear, biodiversity is much more than number of species -- it includes the complexity, richness, and abundance of nature at all levels, from the genes carried by local populations to the layout of communities and ecosystems across the landscape. Ecologists are increasingly aware that mankind's wanton destruction of living organisms -- the planet's work force -- threatens to erode our basic life support services. With uncommon grace and eloquence, Baskin demonstrates how and why that is so.Distilling and bringing to life the work of the world's leading ecologists, The Work of Nature is the first book of its kind to clearly explain the practical consequences of declining biodiversity on ecosystem health and function.
A World of Many Worlds
Marisol de la Cadena and Mario Blaser, editors Duke University Press, 2018 Library of Congress GN320.W75 2018
A World of Many Worlds is a search into the possibilities that may emerge from conversations between indigenous collectives and the study of science's philosophical production. The contributors explore how divergent knowledges and practices make worlds. They work with difference and sameness, recursion, divergence, political ontology, cosmopolitics, and relations, using them as concepts, methods, and analytics to open up possibilities for a pluriverse: a cosmos composed through divergent political practices that do not need to become the same.
Contributors. Mario Blaser, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Déborah Danowski, Marisol de la Cadena, John Law, Marianne Lien, Isabelle Stengers, Marilyn Strathern, Helen Verran, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro