Sunday, September 20, 2009
There have been many advocates of green energy usage and conservation over the past decade, but many people have no idea where the Green Movement started. While it has evolved considerably today from what it was in the early days, the main eye opener for the public came in 1970, with Rachel Carson’s book, “Silent Spring”. However, this was not the first time Americans or the general public have been concerned about living green, as activists such as Henry David Thoreau worked to live green even in the 19th century. Despite popular belief, environmentalism isn’t a trend or a form of hysteria. It’s rooted very deeply in American philosophy and has been for nearly two centuries now.
The biggest step toward environmentalism was when President Teddy Roosevelt took legislative action to conserve lands. Yosemite Park was formed in 1903 and is the biggest conservation project the President is known for. However, with Two World Wars and a Great Depression, environmental focus was shifted to the background. After WWII and things began to settle down. More and more people began to worry about things like food safety for consumers. This resulted in several government acts in the 70s, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, and the Clean Air Act. In addition, Earth Day was established and the Endangered Species Act saw its way through Congress.
With the advent of several oil spills in the 80s, Congress worked even more to provide protection for the environment, with the institution of the Water Pollution Control Act and the banning of DDT which was used on crops and infiltrated the water supply, killing hundreds of thousands of birds and their eggs.
While is is a shame that such sobering events such as catastrophic weather and climate change have lead to such changers in our views of the environment, more Americans now than ever are aware of the changes which need to be made in their lifestyles, and they’re joining the Green Movement. The biggest spokesperson for green living today is Al Gore, with his blockbuster film, “An Inconvenient Truth” opening the eyes of millions in terms of climate crisis.
While the origins of the green movement are obscure to some, one fact is quite clear: changes must be made in the way we live, as climate changes and other catastrophic disasters such as hurricanes and increased volcanic activity are a direct result of our wasteful ways of living.
Article by Going green