The See America First movement began in 1906 with the aim of protecting and promoting the landscapes of the American West. In 1908, Gifford Pinchot and President Theodore Roosevelt hosted the White House Conservation Conference to promote the wise use of natural resources for generations of Americans. In 1912, Pittsburgh’s smoke investigation condemned the effects of coal smoke on the city’s environment. In World War II, a massive propaganda effort mobilized millions of Americans to plant victory gardens to save resources for the war abroad. While these may not seem like crucial moments for the American environmental movement, this new history of American environmentalism shows that they are linked by patriotism.
The book offers a provoking critique of environmentalists’ communication strategies and suggests patriotism as a persuasive hook for new ways to make environmental issues a national priority. This original research should be of interest to scholars of environmental communication, environmental history, American history and environmental philosophy.
Anne Marie Todd is Professor of Communication Studies at San Jose State University, USA.
"Reduce, reuse, recycle" urge environmentalists; in other words, do more with less in order to minimize damage. But as this provocative, visionary book argues, this approach perpetuates a one-way, "cradle to grave" manufacturing model that dates to the Industrial Revolution and casts off as much as 90 percent of the materials it uses as waste, much of it toxic. Why not challenge the notion that human industry must inevitably damage the natural world?
In fact, why not take nature itself as our model? A tree produces thousands of blossoms in order to create another tree, yet we do not consider its abundance wasteful but safe, beautiful, and highly effective; hence, "waste equals food" is the first principle the book sets forth. Products might be designed so that, after their useful life, they provide nourishment for something new-either as "biological nutrients" that safely re-enter the environment or as "technical nutrients" that circulate within closed-loop industrial cycles, without being "downcycled" into low-grade uses (as most "recyclables" now are).
Elaborating their principles from experience (re)designing everything from carpeting to corporate campuses, William McDonough and Michael Braungart make an exciting and viable case for change.
No one understands the frackers—their ambitions, personalities, and foibles—better than Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman. His exclusive access drives this dramatic narrative, which stretches from North Dakota to Texas to Wall Street.