Environmental History – Climate Change – Articles & Podcasts


Environmental History, Climate Change, Environmentalism. Selected online articles from newspapers and popular magazines, and podcasts.

 

Go to Century Past History Resources for a directory of all pages.

50 Years Ago, the Whole Earth Catalog Launched and Reinvented the Environmental Movement

The publication gave rise to a new community of environmental thinkers, where hippies and technophiles found common ground

Andy Kirk, Smithsonian 2018

133 Million Tons of Aerial Garbage

Less than a year before the first Earth Day, a venerable correspondent ruminates on the looming ecological crisis.

By Marquis W. Childs, The Pulitzer Prizes, 1969

States battle the federal government for control of public lands. They both have long trampled on Native American rights.

The Trump administration continues an ignominious pattern of favoring states over Native American interests in determining the fate of public lands like Bears Ears National Monument

Gregory Ablavsky, Washington Post 2017

Climate change poses major threat to United States, new government report concludes

Climate change is already being felt in communities across the United States, and will cause growing harm to the economy, infrastructure, and human and ecological health—unless the United States and other nations take concerted action to reduce emissions of warming gases and adapt to a warmer world. That is the sobering message sent by a major federal report released today that examines climate change impacts on different U.S. regions, economic sectors, and ecosystems.

David Malakoff, Science 2018

Forgotten Benefactor of Humanity

Norman Borlaug, the agronomist whose discoveries sparked the Green Revolution, has saved literally millions of lives, yet he is hardly a household name

Gregg Easterbrook, Atlantic 1997

The A B C of Conservation

Giffort Pinchot, Selected articles on the conservation of natural resources 1909

America’s First Climate Debate

The environment is an endless source of anxiety in America these days. We worry about greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous wastes in our water supplies and toxic substances in our foods. But compared to the environmental concerns that plagued our nation at the very beginning of its history, these present worries do not seem all that overwhelming.

Gordon S. Wood, HistoryNet 2018

New life for toxic land

Across the U.S., Superfund sites are being repurposed as recreational areas, renewable energy facilities and more. Many offer lessons for the future.

Lynn Peeples, Ensia 2018

American Environmental Diplomacy

From its inception as a nation in 1789, the United States has engaged in an environmental diplomacy that has included attempts to gain control of resources, as well as formal diplomatic efforts to regulate the use of resources shared with other nations and peoples.

Kurk Dorsey, Oxford Research Encyclopedia 2016

Britain’s green pioneers

The desire to promote ecology and responsible consumerism is not a solely modern phenomenon. Clare Griffiths traces the history of the green movement from its origins in the 19th century when proponents dreamt of a simple, rural life.

Clare Griffiths, HistoryExtra 2008

Water stress and sustainability: what can we learn from history?

Vanessa Taylor and Frank Trentmann explore our past and present attitudes to water supply and entitlement

Vanessa Taylor and Frank Trentmann, History Extra 2009

Why did we use leaded petrol for so long?

Tim Harford, BBC News 2017

World wildlife populations ‘fall by 58% in 40 years’

The Living Planet assessment, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF, suggests that if the trend continues that decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020. The figures suggest that animals living in lakes, rivers and wetlands are suffering the biggest losses.

Rebecca Morelle, BBC News Service 2016

Climate Change and Human Life – Podcast

Three environmental historians discuss past patterns of climate change – both recent and others from the deep planetary past – and what these historical processes of climate adaptation and survival tell us about humanity’s prospects today.

Sam White, John Brooke and Nicholas Breyfogle, Origins

Climate Change, Health, and the Anthropocene: Why We Must Study the Past

Twelve U.S. government agencies just released a report declaring that human activity has caused global warming and associated catastrophic weather events. With such urgent concerns, what purpose could the study of the past serve? In one word: perspective.

Alexander More, Remedia 2017

Destroying the Environment in the Name of Renewal

For this tough critic, the success of architectural design was not just a question of eye appeal. Features her 1969 prize-winning article, ‘Tough times for the country’s natural assets’.

Ada Louise Huxtable, Pulitzer Prizes 1969

Did Removing Lead from Petrol Spark a Decline in Crime?

Did the lead that we added to our petrol do something so much worse? Was it the cause of a decades-long crime wave that is only now abating as the poisonous element is removed from our environment?

Dominic Casciani, BBC News 2014

How a Notorious Racist Inspired America’s National Parks

The National Park Service is in many ways a product of Madison Grant’s pioneering work as a conservationist. But you probably won’t hear Grant’s name so much as whispered, because his peculiar line of thinking also helped lay the groundwork for the death camps of Nazi Germany.

Richard Conniff, Mother Jones 2016

Rachel Carson – Full-length Documentary Film

The American Experience 2019

Save the Redwoods, by John Muir

John Muir (1838-1914) was a vigorous public opponent of the uncontrolled destruction of the California sequoia forests. This unpublished article is a concise example of his views.

John Muir, Sierra Club bulletin, Vol. XI, no. 1, San Francisco, 1920

What Really Turned the Sahara Desert From a Green Oasis Into a Wasteland?

10,000 years ago, this iconic desert was unrecognizable. A new hypothesis suggests that humans may have tipped the balance

Lorraine Boissoneault , Smithsonian 2017

Winter Is Coming: Europe’s Deep Freeze of 1709

In the first months of 1709, Europe froze and stayed that way for months. People ice-skated on the canals of Venice, church bells broke when rung, and travelers could cross the Baltic Sea on horseback. This freakish winter ultimately claimed the lives of a vast number of Europeans…

Juan Jose Sanchez Arreseigor, National Geographic 2017

Directory at Century Past History Resources

 

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