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Historic conservation movement > Modern environmental movement

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GreenPolicy360, "Greening Our Blue Planet"

SJS / Siterunner: The 60's era was known for its activist movements, social justice, civil rights, peace movement, 'counterculture', and the beginnings of what would become a global environmental movement.

Against the existential threat of nuclear war and environmental disaster, realizations grew nationally and globally that humanity had created weapons capable of ending humanity and most all life of earth. An environmental movement was born, a vision of "Whole Earth", seen for the first time from space, and the very real 'sense' of our common responsibility to life and future life on the planet.

Many of the threads for the green era began with teach-ins and the first Earth Day in 1970 as students expanded a 'counter culture' movement. Across the US, a first Earth Day of teach-ins began as a student-initiated movement on college campuses including your siterunner's college at the University of Southern California. Earth Day's teach-ins reached out to students globally. A worldwide environmental movement was in the process of becoming real and growing as a political force...

"I am convinced that the same concern the youth of this nation took in changing this nation's priorities on the war in Vietnam and on civil rights can be shown for the problems of the environment. Successful teach-ins on all campuses on the same day will have a dramatic impact on the environmental conscience of the nation. They will be immensely effective as an educational effort in arousing public opinion..."
-- Senator Gaylord Nelson, April 23, 1970 at the University of Southern California

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"American environmentalism dawned as a popular movement on a mild spring afternoon in 1970. Wednesday, April 22nd, brought blue skies, light breezes, and temperatures in the 60s to New York City and Washington, D.C. Much of the rest of the country enjoyed similar conditions. On that day, the influence of nature had particular meaning; the nation held a celebration of clean air, land, and water. Encouraged by the retreat of winter, millions participated."

"The first Earth Day may have been prompted... by the recent moon landings. When the astronauts turned their cameras homeward in December 1968, capturing first images of a blue planet, the world looked upon itself with awe and new whole-Earth understanding..."

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Years later, the Environmental Protection Agency published its history, including these notable phrases:

"By late 1969, the subterranean rumblings heralding the impending explosion could already be heard... "Suddenly out of the woodwork come thousands of people talking about ecology."

"It was at just this time that Congress sent to the President a remarkable bill known as the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis)--looking back at the "Environmental Decade" in 1980--called NEPA "the most important piece of environmental legislation in our history."

Senator Gaylord Nelson recalls that right after the passage of NEPA, "the issue of the environment exploded on the country like Mount St. Helens."

SJS / Siterunner: Senator Nelson proposed an Earth Day event amid what he called the 'rumblings' and many of us in the student movement organized optimistically with our new 'whole Earth' vision. The profound issues of 60s, civil rights and the war in Vietnam led to what we called "the big picture". This led to seeing with new eyes, with planetary awareness. It became a time for looking ahead and alternatives to politics- and business-as-usual. The modern environmental movement sprang forward and, on April 22nd, the first Earth Day raised its flag.

"Planet Citizen / Planet Citizens"

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Earth Day flag

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A Modern Environmental Movement Is Born

California and Environmental Politics in the US Congress: Out in Front

Environmental Policy Laws: The Beginnings of a New Era

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"The Magna Carta of the country’s national environmental laws..."

The First Federal Climate Study Plan

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Green Appreciation for the Vision & Leadership of Two Browns from California -- 'George & Jerry'

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Unprecedented environmental protection bills began a process that continues to this day...

Green, environmental public policies, a foundation on which to build sustainable quality of life...

Water quality act

Air quality act

National environmental policy act

Occupational safety and health act

Consumer product safety act

Federal insecticide, fungicide and rodenticide act

Clean water act

Noise control act

Endangered species act

Safe drinking water act

Whole Earth

Origins of the modern environmental movement: Seeing the whole earth for the first time

Circa 1969

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The Apollo 8 Earthrise Photo

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...and in 1972, an exclamation point, Apollo 17's image of "Blue Marble" Planet Earth

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And in Memory of Rachel and Her Eye-Opening Science

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'And Tip of the Green Cap' to David Brower

David Brower quoting Goethe -- “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!”

SJS / Siterunner recalling one of David's favorite quotes as we worked on Green Education projects together with Danny Moses of Sierra Club books.

Recalling David, shortly before his death in 2000, flying to Denver, Colorado, to attend the Green Party's presidential nominating convention and the approval of the founding Green Platform. In an interview: "Ralph is doing what we need to do if we really care about the planet... I'm old... but I'm relying on a lot of young people..." One of David's last acts was to cast his absentee ballot for Ralph.

And to Aldo Leopold for Ethics & Fire

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Among the Actions / Issues Moving Forward thru the Modern Environmental Movement

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