The Environmental Moment


Edited by David Stradling
Foreword by William Cronon

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: History / Environmental History; Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 160 pp., 5 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics
  • Contents

The Environmental Moment is a collection of documents that reveal the significance of the years 1968-1972 to the environmental movement in the United States. With material ranging from short pieces from the Whole Earth Catalog and articles from the Village Voice to lectures, posters, and government documents, the collection describes the period through the perspective of a diversity of participants, including activists, politicians, scientists, and average citizens. Included are the words of Rachel Carson, but also the National Review, Howard Zahniser on wilderness, Nathan Hare on the Black underclass. The chronological arrangement reveals the coincidence of a multitude of issues that rushed into public consciousness during a critical time in American history.
David Stradling is professor of history at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of Making Mountains: New York City and the Catskills and The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State and editor of Conservation in the Progressive Era.

"A fascinating collection of some of the most compelling arguments in the late 1960s and early 1970s about the environmental crisis. It makes clever use of images, cartoons, PSAs, letters, and testimony."
-Char Miller, author of Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism

"Concentrating on a period of upheaval and change, years when environmentalism developed as part of larger social and cultural currents, The Environmental Moment gives students an in-depth look at environmentalism emerging, affecting, and being shaped by other interests in American society and the economy."
-Thomas R. Dunlap, editor of DDT, Silent Spring, and the Rise of Environmentalism

"The Environmental Moment is lively and eclectic and does an impressive job of combining classic documents with less well-known ones to get readers thinking about this seemingly familiar topic in unfamiliar ways."
-William Cronon, from the Foreword

Foreword by William Cronon

Part 1. Warnings

"Air Pollution in Donora, PA: Epidemiology of the Unusual Smog Episode of October 1948, Preliminary Report"

Paul Shepard, "The Place of Nature in Man's World," The Atlantic Naturalist (1958)

Howard Zahniser, "Wilderness Forever" (1961)

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962)

Carl Carmer, Testimony before the Federal Power Commission in the Matter of Consolidated Edison (1964)

Part 2. A Dying Planet

Paul R. Ehrlich, The Population Bomb (1968)

Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog (1969)

Jack Newfield, "Lead Poisoning: Silent Epidemic in the Slums," Village Voice (1969)

Daniel W. Hannan, Testimony before the Allegheny County Commissioners (1969)

United Auto Workers, Letter Initiating Down River Anti-Pollution League (1969)

Dr. N. K. Sanders, "The Santa Barbara Oil Spill: Impact on Environment" (1969)

Seattle-King County Department of Public Health, Annual Report, 1969

Part 3. Earth Year 59

The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969

Editorial, National Review Bulletin (1970)

Citizens Association of Beaufort County, "Is This What You Want for South Carolina's Waters?" Columbia Record (1970)

Richard Nixon, "Special Message to the Congress on Environmental Quality" (1970)

Frank Herbert, "How Indians Would Use Fort," Seattle Post-Intelligencer (1970)

Barry Commoner, Harvard University Lecture (1970)

Walt Kelly, Pogo Poster: "We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us" (1970)

Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day Speech, Denver, Colorado (1970)

Nathan Hare, "Black Ecology," The Black Scholar (1970)

Letters from Schoolchildren to Carl Stokes, Mayor of Cleveland (1970)

Representative Louis Stokes, Address in Congress Supporting Rivers and Harbors and Flood Control Act of 1970 (1970)

Ray Osrin, "Someday Son, All This Will Be Yours," Cleveland Plain Dealer (1970)

Eleanor Phinney, Letter to the Oregon Environmental Council (1970)

Group Against Smog and Pollution (GASP), Public Service Announcements (1970)

Clean Air Act Amendments (1970)

Part 4. Is Cata strophe Coming?

A Select Committee of the University of Montana, "Report on the Bitterroot National Forest" (1970)

Dale A. Burk, Photograph of the Bitterroot Forest, Montana (1971)

Governor Ronald Reagan, Remarks before the American Petroleum Institute (1971)

Dr. Joseph T. Ling, Testimony Regarding the Water Pollution Control Act (1971)

Council of the Southern Mountains, "We Will Stop the Bulldozers" (1972)

William O. Douglas, Dissent, Sierra Club v. Morton (1972)

John Maddox, "Is Catastrophe Coming?," The Doomsday Syndrome (1972)

Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972)

Part 5. Continuation

Jimmy Carter, "The Energy Problem: Address to the Nation" (1977)

Robert A. Roland, Statement Regarding Superfund (1979)

A Mother's Reflections on the Love Canal Disaster (1982)

Dr. James E. Hansen, Testimony Regarding the Greenhouse Effect and Global Climate Change (1987)

Bibliographical Essay

"It is a representative collection that can supplement a textbook for American environmental history courses. . . . He rightly sees the years 1968-1972 as pivotal for the modern environmental movement. Recommended."
-Choice, September 2012