Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monkey Wrench Gang - Environmental Activism

Environmental Activism is not a new concept. Early Islamic writings contained the seeds of modern environmental awareness.

The modern environmental movement has its roots in the Industrial Revolution, when the concentration of coal powered factories led to laws in Great Britain meant to stem the horrific amounts of air pollution in the mid 1800s.

In the United States, John Muir and Henry David Thoreau were visible early activists, concerned about the environment in the 1800s.

Environmental activism gained momentum in the mid 1900s. Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson caught the public's attention. People were starting to realize that environmentalism could be important.

Earth Day followed in 1970- April 22nd (in the United States) and March 21st (the vernal equinox in Europe). General awareness of environment issues has waxed and waned in the years since.

Broadly, environmentalism is concerned with four areas:
  • Air Quality (air pollution)
  • Personal and Public Health (diseases caused by toxins in the environment, antibiotic-resistant germs, etc.)
  • Food and Drinking Water (clean drinking water, non-toxic foods, food and water-born toxins and germs, etc.)
  • Wildlife and Habitat (global warming, clean oceans, availability of habitat for animals, etc.)
There are a variety of organizations devoted to environmental issues. Some are quiet, determined and persevering, such as the Sierra Club. Others take their actions virtually to the level of terrorism, such as Earth First!

Whatever level of action you take, even if it's just doing Five Ways to Help Save the Planet in 30 Minutes or Less, Going Green is on the upswing now. Find a few easy ways to do your part for the environment! The library has some great books that will help you get Going Green.

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