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Why did the environmental movement drop the issue of overpopulation?

Why did the environmental movement drop the issue of overpopulation?

[This is most of the 27 page report. Beck and Kolankiewicz have written this excellent paper explaining why the environmental movement abandoned the goal of keeping population within the carrying capacity of U.S. resources. Systems ecologists such as Paul Erlich, David Pimentel and others estimate the U.S. can support about 100 million people without fossil fuels. That was the population during the Great Depression, when 1 in 4 Americans were farmers, yet still many people were hungry (hence “The Grapes of Wrath”. Alice Friedemann   www.energyskeptic.com ]

The years surrounding 1970 marked the coming of age of the modern environmental movement. As that movement enters its fourth decade, perhaps the most striking change is the virtual abandonment by national environmental groups of U.S. population stabilization as an actively pursued goal.

Population Issues and the 1970-Era Environmental Movement

How did the American environmental movement change so radically?

Around 1970, U.S. population and environmental issues were widely and publicly linked. In environmental “teach-ins” across America, college students of the time heard repetitious proclamations on the necessity of stopping U.S. population growth in order to reach environmental goals; and the most public of reasons for engaging population issues was to save the environment. The nation’s best-known population group, Zero Population Growth (ZPG)-founded by biologists concerned about the catastrophic impacts of ever more human beings on the biosphere-was outspokenly also an environmental group. And many of the nation’s largest environmental groups had or were considering “population control” as major planks of their environmental prescriptions for America.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

10 Successes of the Sustainability Movement to Date

10 Successes of the Sustainability Movement to Date


Wind turbines image via shutterstock. Reproduced at Resilience.org with permission.

The environmental movement had a lot to brag about. In a mere ten-year span in the 1960s and early 1970s, a relatively small community of student activists, along with crusading scientists, from Rachel Carson to Barry Commoner, managed to bring widespread attention to the need for greater environmental protection. The legislative successes flowed like kombucha at a farmers market. All the books and protests and far-out happenings actually resulted in real, tangible progress, which citizens in the United States and other parts of the world could chart over time, like marking a child’s height against the wall.

A rapid-fire series of federal acts ushered in an unprecedented level of environmental regulation and protection. First came the Clean Air Act of 1963 (amended in 1970) that regulates air pollution across the country; then the Wilderness Act of 1964 that protects millions of acres of natural places; and then the Solid Waste Disposal Act of 1965. Next came the Endangered Species Preservation Act (1966), the Wild Scenic Rivers Act (1968), the National Environmental Policy Act (1970), which requires environmental impact assessments on all federal development projects, and the hugely important Clean Water Act (1972).
Nixon, a Republican, played midwife to some of this legislation, and also created the Environmental Protection Agency “to protect human health and the environment.” Earth Day was celebrated for the first time in 1970. Recycling became a standard practice in many parts of the US, DDT and other harmful chemical and pesticides were banned, and a regulatory market for sulfur dioxide emissions from coal plants was created, becoming the world’s first cap-and-trade system.
The environmentalists lost a lot of battles, too. But the successes were obvious.
So what has the sustainability movement achieved? Sustainable development has been a buzzword in international politics since the mid-1980s, and a self-defined sustainability movement has been active since at least the early 90s. 

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

 

Anti-Environmental Archives Launched on Earth Day

Anti-Environmental Archives Launched on Earth Day

If you haven’t already given your treehugger friends a big Earth Day hug today, please don’t forget! And I am of course more than happy to take all the Earth Day hugs I can get!

Why the hugs? Well Earth Day is reason enough I think, but an even better reason is because those working on the front lines to protect the environment deserve it. After all, environmentalists have been the target of ongoing attacks by corporations and special interest groups for much longer than Earth Day has been around.

If you want to see hard evidence of this history of attacks check out Polluter Watch’sfreshly launched Anti-Environmental Archives. Here you will find more than 27,000 documents, scanned and indexed into a searchable database, chronicling many of the efforts by corporations, think tanks, politicians and others, to quash environmental efforts to improve our planet and protect the species that inhabit it.

Take a scroll through the documents that constitute the Heartland Institute archive where, for instance you will find this Heartland Earth Day publication from 1996, making some pretty outrageous claims, like:

“The threat of ozone depletion is exaggerated” by well known climate denier and tobacco-expert-for-hire Fred Singer:

fred singer

“Greenpeace claims chlorine poses a major threat to human health. Scientists disagree.”

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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