American Environmentalism – Hindsight Ep. 10

Paul Rowe July 12, 2012 0

Tom and Matthew talk with Earth Sciences Professor and Environmental Scholar George Leddy about the history and evolution of American Environmentalism and how it relates to the modern challenges and future of the movement. A movement, incidentally, dating as far back as 1739 and therefore is older than the United States of America itself.

Called “Conservatism” until the middle of the twentieth century, the environmental cause is as engrained into American culture as Benjamin Franklin… in fact, Benjamin Franklin was known to have petitioned the Pennsylvania Assembly to ban waste dumping and remove polluting tanneries from the Philadelphia commercial district hundreds of years before “environmentalism” was a household word.

The legacy would be continued by the likes of individuals like John Muir and Henry David Thoreau and Presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson who were instrumental in setting land aside for our National Parks and eventually creating the National Park Service respectively… and, yes, even Richard Nixon… who despite his busy schedule of incinerating the forests of Vietnam and Cambodia with napalm and breaking into Democratic Headquarters, proposed and created the EPA in 1970.