Words of Wisdom:

"Past is Past" but "Present" is "FUTURE" - Asra


  • Date Submitted: 08/12/2012 02:20 AM
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Environmentalism’s Fourth Wave: A Reimagination
Companion Notes for the 11th Hour
Dr. Ari Santas
Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
Valdosta State University

Environmental Movement in Four Waves: One can conceive of environmentalism in four waves or generations, every wave emerging from the previous and living through the next.

First Wave: Signs of Distress and Rediscovering the Wilderness (late 19th Century)

The first wave of environmentalism came from visionary thinkers who saw early on in our national history the directions we were taking and the consequences that might ensue.
        • H. D. Thoreau’s Walden (1854)

    ▪ He saw the madness of war and oppression, the incessant busy-ness of his neighbors and that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

    ▪ And he saw nature as a cure and remedy for the madness

        • John Muir’s   (1838-1914) Preservationism

    ▪ Founded the Sierra Club

    ▪ Instrumental in establishing   Yosemite and Sequoia Parks National Park Preserves

        • Gifford Pinchot’s (1865-1946) Conservationism

    ▪ First head of the US Forest Service

These visionaries were the impetus to important early steps in American Wildlife Preservation and Conservation. They saw the early warning signs of over-consumption and development and implored us to redirect our habits and energies back to wise use of resources and appreciation of natural beauty

Second Wave: Serious Cracks and a Rethinking Progress (mid 20th Century)

The second wave came half a century later, and brought with it a radical challenge to our cultural ideals of progress and growth without earthly limits.

      • Aldo Leopold’s A Sand County Almanac (1949) and the “Land Ethic”

      • Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring(1962) and the “Miracle” of DDT

      • Paul Erlich’s Population Bomb (1968) and a Future of Famine 1950: 2.6 B; 2009: 6.6 B

      • Counter Movement and Radical Environmental...


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