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Dangerous myths emerged in the vacuum of history. • That one book -- Rachel Carson's Silent Spring -- started all the uproar; • That environmentalism is just an hysterical reaction to science and technology; • That environmentalism is a passing fad with no serious ideas to offer. Ancient civilizations • The world's oldest major religion, Hinduism., begins with Vedic scriptures called Aranyakas (forest books} because they were written by sages living in the forest. • Taoism and Confucianism explain and help people follow the patterns of nature. • Egyptian, Sumarian, Babylonian and other civilizations have extensive and intricate links between nature and the divine. Pre-History and Early civilizations • 60,000 years before present -- Earliest probable evidence of fire used deliberately to clear forests in the Kalambo Falls site in Tanzania. • 2700 BC -- Some of the first laws protecting the forests. Pre-History and Early civilizations • Classical Greece • 500 BC - forward -- Greek coastal cities become landlocked after deforestation, which causes soil erosion. The siltation fills in the bays and mouths of rivers. • •• Greek philosopher Plato (427 – 347 BC) compared hills and mountains of Greece to the bones of a wasted body: "All the richer and softer parts have fallen away and the mere skelton of the land remains." Pre-History and Early civilizations • Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), considered the father of medicine, notes the effect of food, of occupation, and especially of climate in causing disease. • 200 BC – Greek physician Galen observes copper miners and notes the danger of acid mists. Galen, Hippocrites and other physicians take individual medicine to new levels of understanding. Pre-History and Early civilizations • Greek physician Hippocrates (460-377 BC), considered the father of medicine, notes the effect of food, of occupation, and especially of climate in causing disease. • 200 BC – Greek physician Galen observes copper miners and notes the danger of acid mists. Galen, Hippocrites and other physicians take individual medicine to new levels of understanding. Ancient civilizations; continued • Greek philosophers such as Aristotle see the “imitation of nature” as the key to understanding life. • Prophets of Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam also renew their link to the divine by retreating into nature. Ancient Rome • Pollution is typically found in pre-industrial cities where people burn wood and work at crafts and industry. "The smoke, the wealth, the noise of Rome..." held no charms for the Roman poet Horace and many of his contemporaries. As residents of what had become the largest city in the world, ancient Romans were well aware of the problem of air pollution. They called it gravioris caeli (heavy heaven) or infamis aer (infamous air). Odors and runoff from garbage, sewage and industries such as smelting or tanning also fouled the air and water. Ancient Rome • the Romans are also remembered for setting a new standard for public health. Public physicians are appointed to attend the poor, and hospitals are built throughout the empire. The city of Rome has aquaducts bringing clean water to gymnasiums and public baths. Many areas of the city have sewage or use reservoirs for sending freshets of waters to sweep streets clean. A similar level of public health would not return to Europe until the mid 18th century or later. Ancient Rome • 80 A.D. • The Roman Senate passes a law to protect water stored during dry periods so it can be released for street and sewer cleaning. • 100 AD - 400 AD – Decline of Roman Empire may have been partly due to lead poisoning, according to modern historian and toxicologist Jerome Nriagu. Ancient Rome • 535 AD -- Legal code (Institutes) of Roman emperor Justinian issued. In the section on the Law of Things, the first entry is: • "By the law of nature these things are common to mankind---the air, running water, the sea, and consequently the shores of the sea." 1200 - 1750 • 1300s -- Forest Code introduced in France aimed at regulating wood production for the Navy. • 1306 -- Edward I forbids coal burning in London when Parliament is in session. Like many attempts to regulate coal burning, it has little effect. 1347 -- 1350s • Bubonic plague decimates Europe, creating the first attempts to enforce public health and quarantine laws. People had no explanation for the Black Death other than rumor, superstition and vague theories about miasmas and air pollution. • 1366 -- City of Paris forces butchers to dispose of animal wastes outside the city; similar laws would be disputed in Philadelphia and New York nearly 400 years later. • 1388 -- Parliament passes an act forbidding the throwing of filth and garbage into ditches, rivers and waters. City of Cambridge also passes the first urban sanitary laws in England. Benjamin Franklin • 1706 -- Benjamin Franklin born January 17 in Boston, Mass. Franklin's concern for sanitation and pure drinking water was a part of his lifelong concern for the improvement of Philadelphia in "small matters." But Franklin also saw a larger question -- one of "public rights" as opposed to private rights -- in many of these controversies. John James Audubon • 1785 -- April 26 -- John James Audubon born in Les Cayes Haiti. In 1826 the first edition of Birds of America, an ongoing collection of color engravings, was published in Scotland. • He returned to America in 1839 to continue collecting and painting. He died in 1851. • The Audubon Society, was founded in 1905 in his honor by George Bird Grinell. • 1789 -- Benjamin Franklin leaves money in a widely publicized codicil to his will to build fresh water pipeline to Philadelphia due to the link between bad water and disease. Within a few years, one quarter of the population of the town dies in a yellow fever epidemic. • 1803 -- Louisiana Purchase finalized April 30. France sold 828,000 square miles stretching from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Idaho. • 1804 -- May 14 -- Lewis and Clark expedition begins the journey up the Missouri River to explore the geography, flora and fauna of the interior of North America. Louisiana Purchase Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 • Living conditions in • Smog episodes begin killing residents of large cities like urban areas horrify London. reform minded • Demands for conservation of commissions wilderness areas accelerate • Water pollution carried with the felling of an enormous redwood, called disease, but no one the "Mother of the Forest" in knew exactly why until 1851. The outrage over the the 1880s. act leads to calls for a national park system. Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1832 -- Arkansas Hot Springs established as a national reservation, setting a precedent for Yellowstone and eventually, a national park system. 1835 -- Ralph Waldo Emerson writes the essay Nature, beginning an American tradition of Transendentalism continued by Thoreau, Fuller, Walt Whitman and others. 1838 -- April 21, John Muir born in Dunbar, Scotland. 1845 -- Johnny Appleseed dies. The legendary but real man planted apple trees across Ohio and Indiana for nearly 50 years. Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1849 -- U.S. Department of Interior established. 1852 -- "Mother of the Forest' -- a giant sequoia tree 300 feet high, 92 feet in circumference and about 2,500 years old -- is cut down for display in carnival sideshows. The tree was in Calaveras Grove, part of what will become Yosemite National Park. Public opinion is aroused by the act. Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, called it "vandalism" and "villainous speculation." Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1854 -- Walden by Henry David Thoreau is published. 1855 -- First comprehensive city sewer plan in U.S. in Chicago. By 1905, all U.S. towns with population over 4,000 have city sewers. 1861 -- April 12 -- Civil War in the US creates enormous environmental problems. 1862 -- US Dept. of Agriculture established. President Abraham Lincoln calls it "the people's department" since 90 percent of Americans at this time are farmers. Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1866 -- The term Ecology is coined (in German by Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (1834-1919) Haeckel was philosophically an enthusiastic Darwinian. 1872 -- President Ulysses Grant signs Yellowstone National Park bill. 1872 -- April 10 -- First Arbor Day initiated by J. Sterling Morton of Nebraska City. Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1875 -- President Ulysses Grant vetoes a bill protecting buffalo and other wildlife. 1879 -- Division of Forestry established in US, later to become US Forest Service. 1881 -- Norway tracks first signs of acid rain on its western coast 1885 -- U.S. Biological Survey created, partly out of concern over the near extermination of the buffalo and the passenger pigeon. Industrial Revolution: 1830 - 1890 1886 -- First Audubon Society formed by George Bird Grinnell. 1887 -- Aldo Leopold born Jan. 11 in Burlington, Iowa. 1889 -- American writer and naturalist John Muir begins the campaign to save Yosemite from exploitation. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1890 -- Oct. 1 -- Yosemite National Park and General Grant national parks are authorized by Congress. Sequoia National Park also established Sept. 25. • 1892 -- June 4 -- Sierra Club founded by John Muir, Robert Underwood Johnson and William Colby "to do something for the wilderness and make the mountains glad.” • 1894 -- Dec. 24 -- Swedish chemist Svante August Arrhenius begins to wonder what increases of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from fossil fuels will do to the climate. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1900 -- Wild buffalo population drops to fewer than 40 animals from an estimated 30 million a century beforehand. Most are killed in the years just after the Civil War, when the US Army hopes to remove the buffalo in order to move Indians onto reservations. • 1901 -- Our National Parks is written by John Muir. The book is reprinted a dozen times and helps establish Muir's reputation. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1905 -- National Audubon Society organized by George Bird Grinell to promote wildlife conservation. The society is named in honor of wildlife painter John James Audubon (1785 - 1850). • 1906 -- June 11 -- Yosemite Valley becomes Yosemite National Park after 42 years as a state park. • 1906 -- June 29 -- Grand Canon Game Preserve established by Congress. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1907 --May 25 -- Rachel Carson born. Biologist and author of Silent Spring, Carson became a leading figure in the environmental movement before her death in 1964. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1908 -- Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius argues that the greenhouse effect from coal and petroleum use is warming the globe. According to his calculations, doubling C02 would lead to average temperature increase of 5 to 6 degrees C. Rather than being alarmed, Arrhenius is pleased that people in the future would "live under a warmer sky and a less harsh environment than we were granted." In his book World in the Making, he says that with increased CO2 "we may hope to enjoy ages with more equable and better climates, especially as regards the colder regions of the earth, ages when the Earth will bring forth much more abundant crops than at present for the benefit of rapidly propagating mankind." 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1910, June 11 -- Jacques Cousteau born. The French oceanographer, inventor, explorer and environmental activist helped people around the world understand that a threat to the oceans was a threat to all life on earth. • 1914, Dec. 24 -- John Muir dies. 1890 - 1920 The Progressive Era • 1916 -- National Park Service created. According to the Environmental News Network, there are now 77.5 million acres of land preserved in the Park system. 1920 - 1940 • 1934 -- April -- Dust Bowl storms begin in the Midwest. • 1935 -- Wilderness Society co-founded by Aldo Leopold and Arthur Carhardt. • 1937 -- The term "greenhouse effect" is coined. Describes the action of short wave solar energy absorbed at the earths surface being transformed into heat while long wave is released back into space. The heat is absorbed by water vapor, CO2 and other gasses acting as an insulating blanket or a pane of glass in a greenhouse. Greenhouse Effect • A schematic representation of the exchanges of energy between outer space, the Earth's atmosphere, and the Earth surface. The ability of the atmosphere to capture and recycle energy emitted by the Earth surface is the defining characteristic of the greenhouse effect. 1940-1959 • 1940 -- US Congress passes Bald Eagle Preservation Act. • 1941-- Rachel Carson writes Under the Sea- Wind, a naturalist's picture of ocean life. Carson would become famous in 1962 for her book Silent Spring, which warned against overuse of pesticides. 1940-1959 • 1947 -- Dec. 6 -- Everglades National Park established. • 1948 -- Aldo Leopold publishes A Sand County Almanac. • 1953 -- Jacques Cousteau's first book, The Silent World sells more than 5 million copies. His film by the same name wins an Academy Award for best documentary in 1957, the first of three such awards that his films would earn. • 1955 -- Congress passes Air Pollution Control Act, a forerunner of the Clean Air Act of 1963 and subsequent legislation. 1960 - 1970 • 1961 -- World Wildlife Fund founded. • 1962 -- Reacion to Silent Spring by Rachel Carson is immediate and nationwide. By 1970 DDT is banned, but other more toxic chemicals are not. Silent Spring is often seen as a turning point in environmental history because it opened a much stronger national dialogue about the relationship between people and nature. Rachel Louise Carson Born: May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pennsylvania Died: April 14, 1964 in Silver Spring, Maryland Silent Spring took Carson four years to complete. It meticulously described how DDT entered the food chain and accumulated in the fatty tissues of animals, including human beings, and caused cancer and genetic damage. 1960 - 1970 • 1964 --Sept. 3-- Congress creates National Wilderness Preservation System "to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness." The system initially contained 9.1 million acres of wild lands, but by 2001 there were about 90 million acres of wilderness preserved in the United States. 1969 -- National Environmental Policy Act passed in Congress. • " . . . it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government, in cooperation with State and local governments, and other concerned public and private organizations, to use all practicable means and measures, including financial and technical assistance, in a manner calculated to foster and promote the general welfare, to create and maintain conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony, and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans." NEPA Declaration of National 1970 - 1980 • 1970 -- Jan. 1 -- National Environmental Policy Act signed creating the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to give the President advice on environmental issues and review Environmental Impact Statements. These statements are now required of all federal agencies planning projects with major environmental ramifications. • 1970 -- April 22 -- The first nationwide Earth Day celebration is organized by Sen. Gaylord Nelson and Dennis Hayes, creates a national political presence for environmental concerns. Millions of Americans demonstrate for air and water cleanup and preservation of nature. • 1970 -- Clean Air Act is passed. 1970 -- December 2 -- Environmental Protection Agency signed into law.(EPA) • 1970 -- Dec. 29 -- Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) bill signed into law. The agency is up within the Department of Labor. Responsibilities include setting standards for employee exposure to hazardous substances. 1972 • 1972 -- Feb 22, EPA announces all gasoline stations required to carry "nonleaded" gasoline. But EPA delays setting standards until 1973, then is sued by Ethyl Corp. • 1972 Congress passes: • * Federal Water Pollution Control Act (over President Nixon's veto) • * Coastal Zone Management Act • * Ocean Dumping Act. • * Marine Mammal Protection Act 1973 • 1973 -- February -- Arab oil embargo panics U.S. and European consumers; prices quadruple. The energy shock leads to national soul-searching about energy priorities. Conservatives favor nuclear and coal sources; liberals explore alternatives. President Nixon insists that US can be energy independent by 1980. • 1973 -- US Congress approves Alaska Oil pipeline. • 1973 -- Dec. 28 -- Endangered Species Act passed by US Congress. 1976 • 1976 -- Congress passes • * Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) to regulate hazardous waste and garbage • * Federal Land Policy Management Act • * Whale Conservation and Protective Study Act 1978 • 1978 -- Lois Gibbs and her neighbors form the Love Canal Homeowners Association after finding that they were living on a major toxic waste dump in Niagara Falls, New York. According to her 1990 Goldman Award citation, Gibbs wondered if the neighborhood children's unusual health problems were connected to their exposure to leaking chemical waste owned by the Hooker Chemicals and Plastics Corp. which had used Love Canal as a toxic dump site in the 1940s and 1950s. 1979 • 1979 -- March 28 -- Three Mile Island nuclear power plant loses coolant and partially melts down. This is a telling blow for the nuclear power industry, already under fire for safety problems in other plants, construction cost overruns and lack of planning for radioactive waste disposal. 1982 • 1982 -- October 28 -- UN World Charter for Nature passes by a vote of 111 in favor to 1 against (United States). The Charter says: • 1. Nature shall be respected and its essential processes shall not be impaired. • 2. The genetic viability on the earth shall not be compromised; the population levels of all life forms, wild and domesticated, must be at least sufficient for their survival, and to this end necessary habitats shall be safeguarded • 3. All areas of the earth, both land and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation; special protection shall be given to unique areas, to representative samples of all the different types of ecosystems and to the habitats of rare or endangered species. • 4. Ecosystems and organisms, as well as the land, marine and atmospheric resources that are utilized by man, shall be managed to achieve and maintain optimum sustainable productivity, but not in such a way as to endanger the integrity of those other ecosystems or species with which they coexist. 1988 • 1988 -- June 23 -- NASA scientist James Hanson and others warn Congress about possible consequences from global warming -- rising sea levels, drought and increased storm severity. Meanwhile, the World Meterological Organization and UN Environmental Program establish the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). At the World Conference on the Changing Atmosphere in Toronto, Canada, a resolution calls for global CO2 emissions reductions of 20% by 2005.. A United Nations resolution is approved characterizing climate as a "common concern of mankind." • 1988 - NASA reports ozone layer eroding much faster than predicted. Meanwhile, DuPont -- the largest CFC producer -- announces an end to CFC production, and stustitute of safer chemicals. 1990 • United Nations report on climate change warns that global temperature rise might be as much as 2 degrees F in 35 years, recommends reducing CO2 emissions worldwide. • 1990 -- April 20 -- Twentieth Anniversary of Earth Day -- 140 nations celebrate. Kyoto Protocol • 1997, Dec 11 -- Kyoto Protocol adopted by US and 121 other nations, but not ratified by U.S. Congress. American industry predicts "disaster" if CO2 reductions are enforced, but environmentalists are dissatisfied with weak goals of the treaty.
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