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Unformatted text preview: Environmentalism Environmentalism
Edited by Mousseau Environmentalism Defined Environmentalism concern for the preservation, restoration, or concern improvement of the natural environment, such as the conservation of natural resources, prevention of pollution, and certain land use actions. History History Romantics: Thoreau, Emerson Realists: Muir, Roosevelt Conservationists versus Preservationists 1949: Aldo Leopold: Sand County Almanac 1949: Sand 1962: Rachel Carson: Silent Spring 1962: Silent 1960’s-70’s: Clean Air, Water, and Wilderness Act passed, 1960’s-70’s: EPA established EPA Late 1970’s- “Energy Crisis” 1980’s: Many of these reforms reversed. Reagan, and both Bushes try to dismantle environmental Reagan, legislation – very successfully legislation The Tragedy of the Commons The It is always better, from the It individual’s perspective to continue with behavior beneficial to them, even if it is destructive for the masses masses Example: traffic If you stop driving, makes little If difference to big picture, but big difference to you difference Problem is, everyone makes that choice Problem individually, and communal problem grows worse. e.g., My driving will not add “that” much to the congestion, so I choose to drive! choose Major tension in American “liberty”? Controversy: Globalization Controversy: Companies can now locate Companies production anywhere production Critics claim this also allows for Critics exploitation of weak environmental Laws exploitation Multi-national corporations Under no Multi-national particular laws or jurisdiction particular Multi- national corps large enough to Multisway entire countries to their will. sway WTO, which is supposed to uphold WTO, environmental and labor standards, accused of strong-arming weak nations into lowering their standards nations Controversy: Food Controversy: Genetic Modification “Frankenfoods” Concerns “Localvore” Movement Industrial Farming Monoculture, Feed Lots, etc. Ex. Beef Antibiotics, cloned foods Ex. DDT Hormones, Antibiotics Pesticides and Chemicals Controversy: Energy Controversy: Fossil Fuels: Coal, Petroleum, Fossil Natural Gas Natural Pollution issues Smog, Carbon, Ozone Most petroleum in unstable Most countries in Mideast, Africa, South America Scarcity issues America Finite amount- just a matter of time Finite until entire supply is gone for good until Everything shipped by vehicles Everything powered by fossil fuels powered National Security issues Scarcity Issues: Economic Issues Controversy: Global Warming Controversy: While scientists aware of GW While for decades, it is only over last several years we realize how serious it is: serious Sea level rise Possible Sea Current change Desertification Altered snowfall/melt patterns Unexpected drought / floods Political Effects Controversy: Class Insensitivity and Environmental Justice Environmental Environmentalism a cause for the educated middle Environmentalism and upper classes and Framed as being at odds with jobs, financial growth Seen as being in competition with other progressive causes Yet, the poor tend to be the first affected by Yet, environmental degradation: e.g. asbestos, lead paint, water quality, desertification…, and especially, lack of potable water. of 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Do you think globalization is a force for spreading wealth throughout the Do world, or an opportunity for large corporations to skirt labor and environmental Regulations? environmental How to we get around the “Tragedy of the Commons” dilemma? What do you think about becoming a vegetarian/ vegan for environmental What reasons? What do you think of the “localvore” movement? reasons? Are cars worth it? What do you think about the “Apollo Program” approach to finding What alternative energy? alternative Is global warming a crisis, like Al Gore says, or is it an overblown liberal Is scheme? scheme? Is environmentalism just a middle-class concern, or does it affect all of Is us? Should social justice precede environmental justice? us? How much responsibility should the U.S. (as one of the leading polluters) How have in preserving the global environment? Discussion Questions Discussion ...
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