Announcing a New History of Environmentalism
Greensboro- A new self-published book by David M. Guion, Before and After the First Earth Day 1970, provides a balanced history of the environmental movement. The story actually begins generations before Senator Gaylord Nelson conceived of an environmental teach-in.
Earth Day in 1970 is a watershed moment in environmental history. It succeeded so well that we easily forget that society as a whole has only recently cared about environmental issues.
It failed in some ways, however. Today's environmental polarization came in part from the shrill warnings of prominent Earth Day speakers that the world faced widespread famine and a new ice age. And from modern environmentalists' insistence on harping on new versions of the same failed arguments.
Guion observes, "Most people will not comb through 50-year-old news reports to find out what happened. I have, and I hope my findings can help rescue our environmental debates from partisan talking points."
David M. Guion is a retired academic librarian who served on a university sustainability committee. He is founder and editor of the respected blog Sustaining Our World and the website Sustainability Scout.