The Environmental Movement in the United States: An Ambivalent History
Master Class for Students / Free admission / CANCELED
The history of the environmental movement in the United States is characterized by ambivalence. Americans were the first to create (now famous) national parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite, yet their functioning depended upon the exclusion of Native Americans. The conservationists of the late nineteenth century laid the groundwork for the modern environmental movement, but it was borne mostly out of economic necessities. In the 1960s, a more diverse movement began to form, but it was predominantly white.
This lecture will trace the history of the American environmental movement by focusing on key figures such as John Muir and Rachel Carson, and by highlighting the catalyzing impact of disasters such as the infamous “burning river” in Cleveland, the toxic waste crisis in Love Canal, and the Santa Barbara oil spill. Also, we will look at key moments in the history of this movement such as the first Earth Day in April 1970 that brought approx. 20 million Americans to the streets and analyze crucial environmental legislation during the 1970s. Finally, we will scrutinize the (anti-)environmental politics of the current administration and briefly discuss the debate on climate change in the United States today.
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Uwe Lübken, LMU München
Organizer: Bavarian Center for Transatlantic Relations
Contact: Sarah Martin
(Photo: Yosemite National Park © Will Langenberg / unsplash.com)