Two Phases of American Environmentalism: A Critical History
Since John Muir articulated the plea for implementing measures that would advocate the protection of the Western wilderness, the United States has been able to allocate resources for creating and managing a system of national parks that would prove to be one of the most, if not the most, extensive systems in the world. Various literatures on such environmental movements in America are predominantly celebratory in tone. Since this movement was able to successfully protect several components of the wilderness from the side effects and threats imposed by ‘development’, it then shifted its focus to monitoring and controlling the hazardous by-products resulting from modern means of industrialization. Despite this alleged success, it has been realized that such measures have brought about immense negative effects to other ecosystems. This chapter looks into the moral argument raised by the scientific claim for the universality attributed to environmentalist ideals.
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