Defending Giants

The Redwood Wars and the Transformation of American Environmental Politics

Author: Darren Frederick Speece

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295999527

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 6134

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Giant redwoods are American icons, paragons of grandeur, exceptionalism, and endurance. They are also symbols of conflict and negotiation, remnants of environmental battles over the limits of industrialization, profiteering, and globalization. Since the middle of the nineteenth century, logging operations have eaten away at the redwood forest, particularly areas covered by ancient giant redwoods. Today, such trees occupy a mere 120,000 acres. Their existence is testimony to the efforts of activists to rescue some of these giants from destruction. Very few conservation battles have endured longer or with more violence than on the North Coast of California, behind what locals call the Redwood Curtain. Defending Giants explores the long history of the Redwood Wars, focusing on the ways rural Americans fought for control over both North Coast society and its forests. Activists defended these trees not only because the redwood forest had dwindled in size, but also because, by the late twentieth century, the local economy was increasingly dominated by multinational corporations. The resulting conflict—the Redwood Wars—pitted workers and environmental activists against the rising tide of globalization and industrial logging in a complex war over endangered species, sustainable forestry, and, of course, the fate of the last ancient redwoods. Activists perched in trees and filed lawsuits, while the timber industry, led by Pacific Lumber, fought the lawsuits and used their power to halt reform efforts. Ultimately, the Clinton administration sidestepped Congress and the courts to negotiate an innovative compromise. In the process, the Redwood Wars transformed American environmental politics by shifting the balance of power away from Congress and into the hands of the executive branch.
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Making Climate Change History

Documents from Global Warming's Past

Author: Joshua P. Howe

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295741406

Category: Nature

Page: 380

View: 5182

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This collection pulls together key documents from the scientific and political history of climate change, including congressional testimony, scientific papers, newspaper editorials, court cases, and international declarations. Far more than just a compendium of source materials, the book uses these documents as a way to think about history, while at the same time using history as a way to approach the politics of climate change from a new perspective. Making Climate Change History provides the necessary background to give readers the opportunity to pose critical questions and create plausible answers to help them understand climate change in its historical context; it also illustrates the relevance of history to building effective strategies for dealing with the climatic challenges of the future.
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Footprints of War

Militarized Landscapes in Vietnam

Author: David Andrew Biggs

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295743875

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 1192

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When American forces arrived in Vietnam, they found themselves embedded in historic village and frontier spaces already shaped by many past conflicts. American bases and bombing targets followed spatial and political logics influenced by the footprints of past wars in central Vietnam. The militarized landscapes here, like many in the world�s historic conflict zones, continue to shape post-war land-use politics. Footprints of War traces the long history of conflict-produced spaces in Vietnam, beginning with early modern wars and the French colonial invasion in 1885 and continuing through the collapse of the Saigon government in 1975. The result is a richly textured history of militarized landscapes that reveals the spatial logic of key battles such as the Tet Offensive. Drawing on extensive archival work and years of interviews and fieldwork in the hills and villages around the city of Hue to illuminate war�s footprints, David Biggs also integrates historical Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, using aerial, high-altitude, and satellite imagery to render otherwise placeless sites into living, multidimensional spaces. This personal and multilayered approach yields an innovative history of the lasting traces of war in Vietnam and a model for understanding other militarized landscapes.
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Environmental Justice in Postwar America

A Documentary Reader

Author: Christopher W. Wells

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295743700

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 3857

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In the decades after World War II, the American economy entered a period of prolonged growth that created unprecedented affluence�but these developments came at the cost of a host of new environmental problems. Unsurprisingly, a disproportionate number of them, such as pollution-emitting factories, waste-handling facilities, and big infrastructure projects, ended up in communities dominated by people of color. Constrained by long-standing practices of segregation that limited their housing and employment options, people of color bore an unequal share of postwar America�s environmental burdens. This reader collects a wide range of primary source documents on the rise and evolution of the environmental justice movement. The documents show how environmentalists in the 1970s recognized the unequal environmental burdens that people of color and low-income Americans had to bear, yet failed to take meaningful action to resolve them. Instead, activism by the affected communities themselves spurred the environmental justice movement of the 1980s and early 1990s. By the turn of the twenty-first century, environmental justice had become increasingly mainstream, and issues like climate justice, food justice, and green-collar jobs had taken their places alongside the protection of wilderness as �environmental� issues. Environmental Justice in Postwar America is a powerful tool for introducing students to the US environmental justice movement and the sometimes tense relationship between environmentalism and social justice.
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Nuclear Reactions

Documenting American Encounters with Nuclear Energy

Author: James W. Feldman

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295999632

Category: Nature

Page: 352

View: 765

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Nuclear Reactions explores the nuclear consensus that emerged in post�World War II America, characterized by widespread support for a diplomatic and military strategy based on nuclear weapons and a vision of economic growth that welcomed nuclear energy both for the generation of electricity and for other peaceful and industrial uses. Unease about the environmental consequences of nuclear energy and weapons development became apparent by the early 1960s and led to the first challenges to that consensus. The documents in this collection address issues such as the arms race, �mutually assured destruction,� the emergence of ecosystems ecology and the environmental movement, nuclear protests, and climate change. They raise questions about how nuclear energy shaped�and continues to shape�the contours of postwar American life. These questions provide a useful lens through which to understand the social, economic, and environmental tradeoffs embedded within American choices about the use and management of nuclear energy.�
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