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13 - From Environmental Concerns to Climate Change

from Part III - Climate Change and Global Warming

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2022

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Summary

Description: Some concerns about the environment began in the 1950s and 1960s. They were mainly directed at the impact of lead in the gasoline that cars used. These led to some regulation on car mileage. A marine biologist, Rachel Carson, in a bestselling book, Silent Spring, raised concerns about the pollution of springs and rivers, and about the environmental impact of dams. <break>An environmental movement came into existence, worried about the impact that growth would have on the future availability of some essential resources. This led to the Club of Rome and to the No-Growth Society. The EPA was created in the USA and the Clean Water Act was created in those years. President Nixon strongly endorsed a clean environment that he called a “crusade.” But the choice between jobs and a clean environment led to strong opposition to the environmental movement.<break>In the 1990s, the focus changed toward more dangers, such as the growing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its impact on the world temperature. The concern became an existential one, as stressed by the Stern Review, by Vice President Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, by UN Reports, and by NASA estimates of climate change. Global warming started to be seen as an existential threat. The issue could no longer be ignored.

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Fragile Futures
The Uncertain Economics of Disasters, Pandemics, and Climate Change
, pp. 166 - 180
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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