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The Environmental Debate, 3rd Edition

Table of Contents




Part I Foundations of American Environmental Thought and Action

Document 1: Biblical Views of Nature and Humanity

A. Genesis: The Story of Creation

B. Genesis: The Story of Noah and the Flood

C. Isaiah, c. 725 B.C.E.

Document 2: Virgil’s Pastoral View of Nature (c. 50 B.C.E.)

Document 3: Christopher Columbus Inventories the New World’s Natural Resources (1493)

Document 4: Jean Ribaut Discovers the Natural Abundance of Terra Florida (1563)

Document 5: Baltasar de Obregon’s Account of the Riches of New Mexico (1584)

Document 6: Thomas Hariot on the Death of Indians from a Disease Brought from Europe (1588)

Document 7: William Bradford on Life in the Wilderness (1620, 1621)

Document 8: Francis Bacon on Science and Technology (1629)

Document 9: Regulating the Herring Run in the Town of Plymouth (1637, 1638, 1639, 1662)

Document 10: Predator Control and Game Hunting Regulation in Rhode Island Colony (1639, 1646)

A. Town of Newport, 1639

B. Town of Portsmouth, 1646

Document 11: Thomas Hobbes’s Social Contract Theory (1651)

Document 12: Pollution in Plymouth Colony Harbor (1668)

Document 13: William Penn Contracts to Set Aside Timbered Lands (1681)

Document 14: John Locke on Property and Labor (1690)

Document 15: John Ray on Gardens and Wilderness (1691)

Document 16: Jonathan Edwards on God and Nature (1739)

Document 17: Peter Kalm on Land Management (1753)

Document 18: William Blackstone’s On the Rights of Things (1765-1769)

Document 19: John Bartram on Reclaiming Florida’s Wetlands (1767)

Part II Politicians, Naturalists, and Artists in the New Nation, 1776–1839

Document 20: Thomas Jefferson on Agrarianism and Industrialization (1785, 1816)

A. From Notes on the State of Virginia, 1785

B. To Benjamin Austin, 1816

Document 21: James Madison on Population and Property (1786, 1787/1788)

A. To Thomas Jefferson, June 19, 1786

B. The Federalist, Number 10, 1787/1788

Document 22: Philip Freneau’s Noble Savage (1788)

Document 23: William Bartram on the Human Impact on the Environment (1791)

Document 24: Benjamin Rush on Saving the Sugar Maple (1791)

Document 25: The Founding Fathers on the Care of the Land (1793, 1818)

A. Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, June 28, 1793

B. Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Mann Rudolphe, July 28, 1793

C. George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, n.d

D. James Madison on Intelligent Husbandry, 1818

Document 26: Thomas Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population (1798)

A. Malthus’s Essay

B. James Madison to Edward Everett, November 26, 1823

Document 27: Meriwether Lewis on the Slaughter of Buffaloes (1804-1806)

Document 28: Act Establishing the First Federal Forest Reserve (1817)

Document 29: Act to Protect Useful Birds in Massachusetts (1818)

Document 30: James Fenimore Cooper Laments the Disappearance of Unregulated Wilderness (1823)

Document 31: George Catlin’s Proposal for a National Park (1832)

Document 32: Black Hawk on the Indians and the Land (1833)

Document 33: John James Audubon on the Senseless Destruction of Fish, Birds, and Quadrupeds (1833)

Part III The Origins of Environmental Activism, 1840–1889

Document 34: Thomas Cole’s Lament of the Forest (1841)

Document 35: John James Audubon on the Decimation of the Bison Herds (1843)

Document 36: Ralph Waldo Emerson on Nature (1844, 1884)

A. From Essay on Nature, 1844

B. From The American Scholar, 1884

Document 37: William Cullen Bryant’s Proposal for a Great Municipal Park (1844)

Document 38: Andrew Jackson Downing Talks about Public Parks and Gardens (1848)

Document 39: Swamp and Overflow Act (1850)

Document 40: The Shattuck Report’s Recommendations for Sanitary Improvement (1850)

Document 41: Rebecca Harding Davis on Smoke and Soot in a Mill Town (1861)

Document 42: Homestead Act (1862)

Document 43: George Perkins Marsh’s Man and Nature (1864)

Document 44: Henry David Thoreau on the Value of Living Things (1864)

Document 45: Act Granting Yo-Semite Valley to California (1864)

Document 46: The Citizens’ Association of New York on Sewage and Disease (1865)

Document 47: John Muir on the Spirituality of Nature (1866)

Document 48: Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux on Creating Parks to Serve the Public (1866, 1872)

A. From a Report to the Commissioners of Prospect Park, 1866

B. From a Letter to H. G. Stebbins (president of the New York City Department of Parks), 1872

Document 49: Charles Darwin on the Similarity between Humans and Other Animals (1871)

Document 50: Act Establishing Yellowstone National Park (1872)

Document 51: Mining Act (1872)

Document 52: Carl Schurz on the Need for Federal Forest Conservation (1877)

Document 53: Henry George on Land Development (1879)

Document 54: Act Establishing the Adirondack Forest Preserve Act (1885)

A. The Act

B. George Bird Grinnell’s Commentary on the Proposed Act, January 17, 1884

Document 55: American Ornithologists’ Union’s Model Law (1886)

Document 56: George Bird Grinnell and Celia Thaxter on the Audubon Society Cause (1886)

A. George Bird Grinnell’s Proposal for the Formation of the Audubon Society, February 11, 1886

B. Celia Thaxter Attacks Bird-Wearing Women

Document 57: Constitution of the Boone and Crockett Club (1887)

Document 58: John Wesley Powell on the Lands of the Arid Regions (1890)

A. The Irrigable Lands

B. The Non-irrigible Lands

Part IV The Roots of the Conservation Movement, 1890–1919

Document 59: Forest Reserve Act (1891)

Document 60: Frederick J. Turner on the Disappearance of the Frontier (1894)

Document 61: Rivers and Harbors Act (1899)

Document 62: Theodore Roosevelt Addresses Congress on Forest Preservation and Land Reclamation (1901)

Document 63: Reclamation Act (1902)

Document 64: Upton Sinclair on the Adulteration of Processed Food (1906)

Document 65: Ellen Swallow Richards on Sanitation and Human Ecology (1907)

Document 66: Theodore Roosevelt on the Conservation and Use of Natural Resources (1907)

Document 67: Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., on the Smoke Nuisance (1908)

Document 68: John Muir, James Phelan, and the Battle over the Flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley (1908-1913)

B. James Phelan, Letter to Outlook 1909

C. From John Muir’s The Yosemite, 1912

Document 69: Richard Ballinger on the Development of the West (1909)

A. From a 1909 Interview with John L. Mathews

B. Address to the National Irrigation Congress, August 12, 1909

Document 70: Report of the National Conservation Commission (1909)

Document 71: WJ McGee on Conservation (1909)

Document 72: Jane Addams on Garbage (1910)

Document 73: Gifford Pinchot on Conservation and the National Interest (1911)

Part V Rethinking Our Relationship to Nature, 1920–1959

Document 74: Pennsylvania Coal Company v. Mahon et al. (1922)

A. The Case and the Court’s Ruling

B. Justice Louis Brandeis’s Dissenting Opinion

Document 75: Village of Euclid et al. v. Ambler Realty Company (1926)

Document 76: Henry Beston on the Human Relationship with Nature (1928)

Document 77: Franklin D. Roosevelt on the Destruction of America’s Forests (1930)

Document 78: Stuart Chase on Waste in the Machine Age (1931)

Document 79: Arthur Kallet and F. J. Schlink on the Dangers of Manufactured Products (1932)

Document 80: Luther Standing Bear on Native Americans and the Rights of Other Living Things (1933)

Document 81: Arthur Tansley on the Concept of the Ecosystem (1935)

Document 82: H. V. Harlan and M. L. Martini on the Loss of Genetic Diversity (1936)

Document 83: Lewis Mumford on Regional Planning (1938)

Document 84: John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

Document 85: Marjory Stoneman Douglas on the Everglades (1947)

Document 86: Roger Tory Peterson on Bird Population (1948)

Document 87: Fairfield Osborn on the Interrelatedness of All Living Things (1948)

Document 88: Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic (1949)

Document 89: Harry Truman’s Materials Policy Commission on Economic Growth and Resource Policy (1952)

Document 90: Samuel H. Ordway, Jr., on Limits to Growth (1953)

Document 91: J. Robert Oppenheimer on the Use of Science (1953)

Document 92: Bernard Frank on Land Development and Water Availability (1955)

Document 93: Clean Air Act (1955)

A. Congressional Findings and Declaration of Purpose

B. The Act

Document 94: M. King Hubbert on Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Energy (1956)

Document 95: John Kenneth Galbraith Asks, “How Much Should a Country Consume?” (1958)

Document 96: David Brower Demands Support for the Wilderness Act (1959)

Part VI  The Heyday of the Environmental Movement, 1960-1979

Document 97: The Surgeon General’s Report on Environmental Health (1960)

Document 98: Lorus J. Milne and Margery Milne on the Balance of Nature (1961)

Document 99: Murray Bookchin on the Synthetic Environment (1962)

Document 100: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962)

Document 101: Stewart L. Udall on the Land Ethic (1963)

Document 102: John F. Kennedy on the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1963)

Document 103: Scenic Hudson Preservation Conference v. Federal Power Commission (1965)

Document 104: California Land Conservation Act (1966) and Article XXVIII of the California Constitution (1967)

A. California Land Conservation Act

B. California Constitution, Article XXVIII

Document 105: Kenneth E. Boulding on the Spaceship Economy (1966)

Document 106: Lynn White, Jr., on Western Religions and the Environmental Crisis (1967)

Document 107: Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb (1968)

Document 108: Garrett Hardin on Controlling Access to the Commons (1968)

Document 109: John Teal and Mildred Teal on the Productivity of the Salt Marsh (1969)

Document 110: Ian McHarg on the Fitness of Ecosystems (1969)

Document 111: National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (1970)

Document 112: Richard Nixon on the Need for Environmental Regulation (1970)

A. From the State of the Union Address, January 22, 1970

B. From a Special Message to Congress on Marine Pollution from Oil Spills, May 20, 1970

Document 113: Clean Air Act Amendments (1970)

Document 114: Dennis Puleston on the Founding of the Environmental Defense Fund (1971)

Document 115: Barry Commoner on the Ecosphere (1971)

Document 116: Clean Water Act (1972)

Document 117: Christopher Stone Proposes Legal Rights for Natural Objects (1972)

Document 118: Sierra Club v. Morton (1972)

A. The Supreme Court Decision

B. William O. Douglas’s Minority Opinion

Document 119: Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment (1972)

Document 120: Endangered Species Act (1973)

Document 121: Ernest Callenbach’s Ecotopia (1975)

Document 122: Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang (1975)

Document 123: Greenpeace’s Declaration of Interdependence (1976)

Part VII:  Confronting Economic and Social Realities, 1980–1999

Document 124: Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (1980)

Document 125: Mark Sagoff on the Public Interest (1981)

Document 126: Lester R. Brown on Building a Sustainable Society (1981)

Document 127: Julian L. Simon on Population Growth (1981)

Document 128: Coastal Barrier Resources Act (1981)

A. The Bill

B. Excerpts from Key Testimony

Document 129: Arne Naess on Deep Ecology (1982, 1984)

A. Arne Naess Explains Deep Ecology, 1982

B. The Deep Ecology Platform, 1984

Document 130: United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (1983)

Document 131: Bernard Cohen on Nuclear Energy and Risk Assessment (1983)

Document 132: Bob Graham on Restoring the Kissimmee River—Lake Okeechobee—Everglades Ecosystem (1983)

A. “Save Our Everglades” Issue Paper

B. Executive Order

Document 133: Edward O. Wilson on the Need for a Conservation Ethic (1984, 1998)

A. From Biophilia, 1984

B. From Consilience, 1998

Document 134: Jurgen Schmandt, Hilliard Roderick and Andrew Morriss on Acid Rain and Friendly Neighbors (1985)

Document 135: Montreal Protocol on Substances Ozone That Deplete the Ozone Layer (1987)

Document 136: United Church of Christ Commission forRacial Justice’s Report on Toxic Waste and Race (1987)

Document 137: James Hansen Makes the Case for Climate Change (1988)

Document 138: Dixy Lee Ray Asks, “Who Speaks for Science?” (1990)

Document 139: Clean Air Act Amendments Create a Cap-and-Trade Mechanism to Reduce Acid Rain (1990)

Document 140: Roger Smith on Industry and the Environment (1990)

Document 141: California Air Resources Board Lowers its Vehicle Emissions Standards (1990, 1996)

A. Original Carb Proposal for Vehicle Emissions Standards, September 1990

B. Proposed Changes to the Carb Vehicle Emission Standards, January 1996

Document 142: John P. Holdren on Energy and Human Well-Being (1990)

Document 143: Barry Lopez on a Sense of Place (1990)

Document 144: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (1992)

Document 145: United Nations Convention (1992) and Protocol (1997) on Climate Change

A. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

B. The Kyoto Protocol

Document 146: Donella Meadows on the Complexity of the Malthusian Debate (1993)

Document 147: Carl Safina on the Decline of Fishes (1995)

Document 148: Edward Tenner on Shifting Liability (1996)

Document 149: The Business Roundtable Objects to the Kyoto Protocol (1998)

Document 150: Jeremy Rifkin on Biotechnology and the Environment (1998)

Part VIII Politicizing the Environmental Debate, 2000–2017

Document 151: Norman E. Borlaug on Biotechnology and Antiscience (2000)

Document 152: Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States Army Corps of Engineers et al. (2001)

A. The Case

B. The Majority Opinion, Delivered by Justice William Rehnquist

Document 153: Bjorn Lomborg Questions the Prioritization of Environmental Issues (2001)

Document 154: Charles W. Schmidt on Electronic Waste (2002)

Document 155: Mendocino County Ordinance Prohibiting the Propagation, Cultivation, Raising, and Growing of Genetically Modified Organisms (2004)

A. The Ordinance

B. Ballot Statement Supporting Passage of the Ordinance

Document 156: Michael Schallenberger and Ted Nordhaus Proclaim the Death of Environmentalism (2004)

Document 157: Bruce Babbitt Proposes a New Approach to Federal Land-Use Planning (2005)

Document 158: Myron Ebell on the Endangered Species Act and Private Property Rights (2005)

Document 159: Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Sustainable Water Resources Agreement (2005)

Document 160: Al Gore on the Politicization of Global Warming (2006)

Document 161: Oakland’s Zero Waste Resolution (2006)

Document 162: New York City’s PlaNYC 2030 (2007)

Document 163: Massachusetts et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al. (2007)

A. The Case

B. Opinion of the Court Delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens

Document 164: Jared Diamond on Consumption, Population, and Sustainability (2008)

Document 165: Christine MacDonald on Sustainable Development and Corporate Policy (2008)

Document 166: LEED and the Green Building Revolution (2008, 2010)

A. Richard Fedrizzi on the Founding of the Green Building Council and Its LEED Certification Program (2008)

B. The LEED Certification System (2010)

Document 167: Jeff Biggers Questions the Concept of “Clean Coal” (2008)

Document 168: Mark Bittman on the Environmental Impact of the American Diet (2009)

Document 169: Mark Z. Jacobson and Mark A. Delucchi’s Plan for Carbon-Free Electricity by 2030 (2009)

Document 170: John Wargo on Our Chemical Environment (2009)

Document 171: Christopher B. Leinberger on Walkable Neighborhoods with Public Transportation (2010)

Document 172: Donald Gilliland Reviews Josh Fox’s “Gasland” (2010)

Document 173: Barack Obama Recommends a National Policy for Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes (2010)

Document 174: The National Congress of American Indians and Bill McKibben et al. Oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline (2011)

A. National Congress of American Indians Resolution Opposing Keystone XL Pipeline

B. Letter Calling for Civil Disobedience Against Keystone XL

Document 175: Daniel Yergin on Global Energy Demand (2013)

Document 176: Naomi Klein on Capitalism versus the Climate (2014)

Document 177: Gil Gullickson on Agriculture and Climate Change (2014)

Document 178: John R. Gillis on the Sand Crisis (2014)

Document 179: Ben Minteer on Extinct Species and De-extinction

Document 180: The Ecomodernist Manifesto (2015)

Document 181: The Union of Concerned Scientists Exposes Climate Deception (2015)

Document 182: The EPA’S Clean Power Plan (2015)

Document 183: Richard Manning on Agriculture Policy and Undrinkable Water (2016)

Document 184: Elizabeth Kolbert on Global Warming (2016)

Document 185: The G20 Responds to the U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Accords (2017)

Appendix I: Significant Dates in American Environmental History

Appendix II: Major Conservation and Environmental Organizations



Further Readings

Copyright Acknowledgments