The 1970’s represent a pivotal point in history that rewrote how America viewed its environmental policies- both on a policymaker and citizen scientist standpoint. As the public became more aware of environmental issues, concern about pollution, improper disposal, dwindling resources, radiation and poisoning enraptured a growing number of supporters. These supporters made it so that unlike the Progressive Era’s conservation movement (1890’s-1920’s), which was mainly elitists, this modern movement was pushed by “the common man.” It was an era that celebrated leaders such as John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas Jefferson. One of those leaders in the forefront of these radical changes was Congressman Morris K. …show more content…
Conservation of our biodiversity not only demonstrates foresight, it protects the natural resources so vital to our own continued existence. The value of any single species to an ecosystem is immeasurable; the environment will not endure without its species, despite size or niche. These animals are not dispensable. And, they are apt to face extinction in the not too distant future, unless a resolve for their preservation is insisted by the public and enforced by governments internationally. It is our actions that have directly, and indirectly, caused such environmental destruction; now it is us that must help save them. As John Sawhill said, "In the end, our society will be defined not by what we create, but what we refuse to destroy." We are their only hope; future generations of animals and mankind alike are depending on us. “I come before you tonight both as a lover and a critic of the conservation movement, as one who is at once proud of our past accomplishments and disappointed by them, troubled about the future of the movement and hopeful for it. …The more we exploit nature, the more our options are reduced, until we have only one: to fight for survival,” Congressman Udall started out his acceptance speech. This powerful statement captures the theme of my education and research foundation- i.e. a more organized and open environmental
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What really caused the sudden upsurge in concern for preserving America’s environment at the beginning of the twentieth century? To what extent was this concern motivated by nostalgia for an older America, and to what extent by a desire to preserve nature and natural resources for future generations?
The environmentalist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries presents a picture of America at the time: torn between the desires to expand while seeking to protect nature. Although all members of the movement sought to protect nature, there were two predominant schools as to how to go about this. In their two philosophies, they created two methods for human interaction with the wilderness. The conservationist movement can be called the utilitarian movement, and sought the greatest good for the greatest number over the longest term. In contrast, the preservationist school aimed at keeping nature in its current state, although the
Of our 45 presidents, Theodore Roosevelt is not one that will be easily forgotten. During his time, his accomplishments wrought a change in the United States, and are still impacting us today, even long after his death. Among his many notable feats, many consider his conservation efforts specifically to be his legacy. He had a love and passion for nature, and he even became a permanent fixture of nature when his face was carved into a wall of rock, as one of the four presidents of Mount Rushmore. During the 1900s, “conservation” was not a word often thrown around in conversation. Today however, conflicts such as limited resources, conservation, climate change, and environment are words that have been on everyone’s lips at one point or
When Americans think of nature images of the wild west, wide open plains, and majestic landscapes spring forth. Nature is part of the American heritage; a site of beauty set aside for preservation outside the industrial cities that encompasses daily life. Because of this segregation between nature and man, it is easy to forget that everything on the planet is nature, not simply the parks set aside for preservation and egos. Throughout American history, dating as far back as the indigenous people, this connection between man and the natural world has been prevalent. By examining the the conservationist movement of the twentieth century and the impact Americans have had on the environment, there is a chance to close the chasm that now exists
He suggests that all the small parts that make up the movement can come together to harbor transformative change, relating it as a homeostatic mechanism of the Earth as an organism. Hawken makes explains the comparison perfectly, relating the movement as the works of the world’s immune system. He also defines the movements primary aspects, being “environmental activism, social justice initiatives, and indigenous culture’s resistance to globalization” (12).Hawken supports this with the history of Rachel Carson and other significant environmentalists who were able to initiate change. If the efforts of a single person had held such efficacy in the past, Hawken claims a tremendous capability in the combined efforts of the world’s people. With reminders to Carson’s “Silent Spring” and its effects on chemical companies, he displays how much potential environmentalists would have if they were to all come
A report from Recovering America’s Wildlife Crisis states, “More than 150 species have already gone extinct and about 40% of freshwater fish species are imperiled.” Animals are being killed off by the minute. Now the wildlife species are going to abolished from Earth.
When the settlers arrived in the New World, their immediate thought was never to protect or conserve resources. Instead, over time as more Europeans made the trip west, natural resources depleted until Pinchot (#1, T) began the conservation movement. He would become the first leader of the future U.S Forest Service and go on to help protect and conserve areas of untouched forest across the country (Pinchot, 73). Consequently, Pinchot began a spark that would lead to Muir’s late impact and our current era that desires to form a sustainable system for human civilization. Since the start of conservation, Americans have slowly strived for sustainability and environmentally friendly practices.
Have you ever caught yourself criticizing a littered area of your favorite park? Or cringed at the bitter taste of an apple’s skin, due to heavy pesticides? Like you, many Americans began to socially denounce the mistreatment of their natural world, thus sweeping an environmental movement across the United States. The modern environmentalist ideas that help safe guard the nature in our everyday world have grown into a hugely adopted cultural movement through decades of research and persuasion. Its influence on America and other parts of the world vastly differs from society to society, however, the fundamental ideas seem to remain concrete through time.
Although recreation and education largely contribute to the Sierra Clubs purpose, it all starts with conservation. Through the tireless efforts of the club’s founders, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers, the small grassroots movement that started as a group of friends is largely responsible for creation of our national parks, clean-fuel initiatives, and sustainable agriculture practices. In the 1950’s to better align itself with issues that directly affected the natural wildlife habitat, the club changed their emphasis from conservation to environmentalism. “This meant that by its tenth decade the Sierra Club was deeply involved in solving new and challenging problems” (pg. 10). “Air quality in many U.S. cities was causing lung disease, industries poured wastes into the nation’s waterways with impunity, and nearly every day someone discovered children playing on an abandoned toxic-waste dump” (pg. 10). Currently the environmental conservation efforts of the Sierra Club have assisted in creating numerous government organizations to regulate industrial waste, land management, air pollution just to name a few. The Sierra Club is a good example of how a group of environmental conservationists can unite with a common goal and change federal, and local policies to preserve the earth for generations to
I was inspired to get involved in politics in the 1970s by my local Congressman, Pete McCloskey, a leading environmental advocate, co-founder of the first Earth Day, and one of the original authors of the Endangered Species Act. As a lifelong hiker and nature lover, two of my early heroes were John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club, and Rachel Carson, a leading conservationist of her time. Today, I enjoy hiking through Catoctin Mountain Park, biking along the C and O Canal, and I am committed to preserving the wildlife and natural resources of the 8th District and Maryland. Among my top priorities as your Representative in Congress will be protecting nature and addressing climate disruption by supporting a transition to a clean energy
Throughout the end of the 19th and beginning of 20th centuries, we saw an extreme shift in mindsets about the environment and how it should be managed. Iconic utilitarian conservationists, such as Gifford Pinchot, led this march to a more scientific approach to conserving land to produce maximum resources efficiently for the benefit of the people and country. Even after Pinchot’s firing as the first ever Chief of the U.S. Forest services in 1910, we would see his conservation principals integrated throughout years to come in pivotal environmental issues that would abrupt within the United States. Throughout these national issues such as the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, WWII and the Cold War, along with others, we would see the need for this utilitarian conservation movement idea to help progress us into the modern “green” era of scientific environmentalism. With these events, the inventory of federal land use and water resources agencies would be prompted and encouraged to develop and transform into more
Bill Freedmen, author of “Endangered Species—Human Causes Of Extinction and Endangerment” notes, “scientists approximate that present extinction rates are 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the average natural extinction rate.” These distressing numbers should be acted upon to save the endangered species and avoid the catastrophic change to this planet if these species were to become extinct. In order to produce change, people need to recognize that habitat loss, climate change, and poaching are all factors in why our animal species are going extinct.
White’s thesis in The Historical Roots of our Ecological Crisis states that in order to confront the expanding environmental crises, humans must begin to analyze and alter their treatment and attitudes towards nature. The slow destruction of the environment derives from the Western scientific and technological advancements made since the Medieval time period. “What people do about their ecology depends on what they think about themselves in relation to things around them” (RON p.7). Technology and science alone will not be able to save humans until we adjust the way of thinking and suppress the old ideas of humans power above nature. Instead, we need to learn how to think of ourselves as being
Simultaneously, thousands of other species across the globe face the same threat: extinction. Biodiversity is an essential part of our world, our global ecosystem. As Planet Earth?s resources diminish and its creatures vanish, those who recognize the need to preserve what is disappearing look to international politics to accomplish what individuals cannot. The most important instrument for implementation of international policy has been the Convention On International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which went into effect in 1975.