The Environmental Crisis

By Miguel A. Santos; Randall M. Miller | Go to book overview

Preface

The twentieth century has been the period in which the terms "ecology" and "environment" have become household words as well as potent political forces. During the century, the United States issued the first major federal response that called for a national environmental policy, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969. With the enactment of NEPA, the United States began a "Magna Carta-like" federal program on environmental protection and management. In 1992 the biggest and most important environmental conference, the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, also known as the "Earth Summit," brought together six thousand delegates from over 170 nations to discuss and negotiate such topics as climate change, biodiversity, deforestation, and economic relations between developed and less-developed nations.

During the late twentieth century, a consensus seemed to emerge throughout most of the United States and the world that it was time to combat pollution and seek a balance with nature. In hindsight, it is not clear what led to this unexpected change in humanity's worldview. It is likely that forces were multiple and complex, including the academic credibility ecology gained from professional scientists of the time as well as social, economic, and political factors.

Of all the "great events" of the twentieth century, perhaps the most significant to the future of this planet is the way in which humankind has tried to achieve equilibrium with nature. This book covers many of the fundamental concerns that have emerged regarding the relationship between so

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The Environmental Crisis
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Titles in the Greenwood Press Guides to Historic Events of the Twentieth Century ii
  • Title Page iii
  • ADVISORY BOARD v
  • Contents vii
  • Series Foreword ix
  • Preface xiii
  • Chronology of Events xvi
  • Chronology of Events xvii
  • The Environmental Crisis Explained 1
  • Notes 24
  • 2 - The Concern for Our Vanishing Wilderness 25
  • 3 - Pollution and the Emergence of Environmentalism 57
  • Notes 86
  • 4 - The Environmental Concern for Overpopulation 89
  • Notes 127
  • 5 - The Concept of a Self-Sustainable System 129
  • Notes 153
  • Biographies: The Personalities Behind the Environmental Crisis 155
  • Notes 165
  • Primary Documents of the Environmental Crisis 167
  • Glossary of Selected Terms 225
  • Annotated Bibliography 235
  • Index 245
  • About the Author 251
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