Earth Day, a Story of Success: Progresses and Backstrokes of American Environmentalism During the Last Forty Years

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GRIN Verlag, 2011 - 28 pages
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Studienarbeit aus dem Jahr 2010 im Fachbereich Amerikanistik - Kultur und Landeskunde, Note: 1,7, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen (Amerika Institut), Veranstaltung: American Environmental History, Sprache: Deutsch, Abstract: Earth Day, a Story of Success: Progresses and Backstrokes of American Environmentalism During the Last Forty Years 1. Introduction Everybody has heard of Earth Day at least once in a lifetime.Earth Day has been celebrated for the first time on April 22, 1970 in the whole United States.It was the largest demonstration that should ever take place in this country. Twenty million people, from coast to coast, gathered in cities around the nation to speak up for nature and to make environmentalism a political issue. Today Earth Day is solemnized in over 175 countries around the globe; some local communities even dedicate themselves to the environmental good throughout a longer period, in a so-calledEarth Week or Earth Month around April 22.This year Earth Day has celebrated its 40th anniversary, but what has changed within these four decades? Did Earth Day and the idea behind it accomplish its goals, is the job to remedy the circumstance of our environment done or did it fail?Which environmental challenges did people face in the 1970s and which challenges do we face today? These questions are not easily answered. The founder of Earth Day, Gaylord Nelson had the ideology to inspire awareness and appreciation for the earth's natural environment among people. It is sure that Nelson did not invent environmentalism; the environmental movement had its precursor in the conservation movement. Especially considering that ecologists like Aldo Leopold or Rachel Carson had set the benchmark for ecology and environmentalism with their literature earlier. Nevertheless, Senator Gaylord Nelson was the first politician who realizedthat environmentalism was the most urgent task of the 20th century. It is a fact that environmentalism gained credence at the dawn

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