The First Green Wave: Pollution Probe and the Origins of Environmental Activism in Ontario

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UBC Press, Oct 15, 2015 - Nature - 264 pages

In The First Green Wave, Ryan O'Connor traces the rise of the environmental movement in Toronto, home to one of Canada's earliest and most dynamic communities of environmental activists, from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. At the heart of the story is Pollution Probe, an organization founded in 1969 by students and faculty at the University of Toronto. Living up to its motto ("Do it!") in its first year of operation, Pollution Probe confronted Toronto's City Hall over its use of pesticides, Ontario Hydro over air pollution, and the detergent industry over pollution of the Great Lakes. The organization's successes inspired the founding of other environmental organizations across Canada and led to the development of initiatives now taken for granted, such as waste reduction and energy policy. This book describes the heady days of Canada's early environmental movement and examines the forces that reshaped the activist landscape in the 1980s.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 The Air of Death and the Origins of Torontos Environmental Activist Community
12
2 The Emergence of Pollution Probe
39
3 Building an Environmental Community
75
4 Probes Peak
103
5 The Changing Environmental Landscape
122
6 Beyond the First Wave
153
Afterword
174
Notes
178
Bibliography
208
Index
219
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Ryan O'Connor teaches in the Department of Canadian Studies at Trent University. He received his PhD from the University of Western Ontario and held a SSHRC postdoctoral fellowship from 2011 to 2012. His research focuses on the origins and development of the environmental movement in Canada.

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