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: 9891

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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.
Release

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: 2402

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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.
Release

Environmental Justice in Postwar America

A Documentary Reader

Author: Christopher W. Wells

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295743700

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 6848

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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.
Release

Nuclear Reactions

Documenting American Encounters with Nuclear Energy

Author: James W. Feldman

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295999632

Category: Nature

Page: 352

View: 8804

DOWNLOAD NOW »

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.�
Release

Cultivating Nature

The Conservation of a Valencian Working Landscape

Author: Sarah R. Hamilton

Publisher: University of Washington Press

ISBN: 0295743328

Category: History

Page: 312

View: 4555

DOWNLOAD NOW »

The watery terrain of the Albufera Natural Park, an area ten kilometers south of Valencia that is widely regarded as the birthplace of paella, has long been prized by residents and visitors alike. Since the twentieth century, the disparate visions of city dwellers, farmers, fishermen, scientists, politicians, and tourists have made this working landscape a site of ongoing conflict over environmental conservation in Europe, the future of Spain, and Valencian identity. In�Cultivating Nature, Sarah Hamilton employs the Albufera�s contested lands and waters, which have supported and been transformed by human activity for a millennium, as a lens bringing regional, national, and global social histories into sharp focus. She argues that efforts to preserve biological and cultural diversity must incorporate the interests of those who live within heavily modified and long-exploited ecosystems such as the Albufera de Valencia. Shifting between local struggles and global debates, this fascinating environmental history reveals how Franco�s dictatorship, Spain�s integration with Europe, and the crisis in European agriculture have shaped the Albufera, its users, and its inhabitants.�
Release