Environmental Movement

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Jonathan Gearty
Hist-1302-078
11-21-2011
“Give Earth a Chance”
The Environmental movement of the 1960s opened doors for long time conservationists and preservationists. I should say though, the movement did not originate in the 1960s, but became a more apparent situation due to the changing effects of our nation during this time. Theodore Roosevelt had a part in the environmental movement, but of course, this took place in the late 19th century. He was responsible for several preservation policies that nearly doubled national parks. Historically, this movement has changed the way American industrial businesses have had to operate and led to numerous government policies and regulations. The movement made way for the Environmental Protection Agency as well. The modern Environmental movement in the United States is often dated to the 1962 publication of Rachel Carson's book Silent Spring. This seminal description, by an articulate scientist on the dangers of the chemical era to the environment and to human health, struck a responsive chord with the general public and among opinion leaders. After WWII the industrial chemical community created many synthetic pesticides and herbicides which hadn’t been regulated or even tested on the long term ecological effect of nature or its inhabitants. Even though these harsh chemicals worked better than any previously used before, the devastating effects would be an eye opening “wake up” call for many citizens of the United States. Although, some people didn’t feel the effects of DDT were harmful to humans and nature the scientific studies of Rachel Carson and Edwin Way Teale proved otherwise. In the 1970s widespread damage to wildlife led to a ban on the use of DDT, DDE and DDD in most industrialized countries, but is still used in some countries.

Ibis eggs that failed to hatch as a result of DDT. Photo by George Silk, TimePix.

Teale wrote an article in Nature magazine in March of 1945 revealing the harms of...
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