Environmentalism and the poor.

10 March 2006

This article is part of a series from Grist on poverty and the environment. Well worth reading, both for its historical perspective and its view of what should be done today.

Caste from the Past

The environmental movement has achieved great things. Without John Muir or David Brower, there would be fewer national parks and wilderness areas. […] These and other activists deserve the hero label — but we also need to expand our notion of what constitutes nature and who speaks on its behalf. Unless environmentalists take a full reckoning of their past to find other voices to remember and celebrate, the movement may grow ever more narrow and irrelevant. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to find some new heroes.

In my view, it is essential that environmentalists demonstrate to everyone that environmentalism isn’t a fringe avocation, but a way of thinking about the world that benefits everyone. It’s going to require better work than we’ve done so far.

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