Sunday 24 September 2017

Michael McCarthy: 'Green' movement has led to brave new world

The 'Earthrise' picture taken by NASA astronauts in 1968 has become an iconic image for environmentalists worldwide.
The 'Earthrise' picture taken by NASA astronauts in 1968 has become an iconic image for environmentalists worldwide.

Michael McCarthy

It has been part-religion and part socio-political crusade, and has penetrated all corners of the globe. It has swept up young people -- and not a few of their elders -- into its embrace and on Saturday it is 50 years old. But how much of a difference has the modern environment movement really made?

We know the noble causes. They trip off our tongues, from banning whaling, halting deforestation and saving endangered species to mending the hole in the ozone layer and bringing a halt to global warming -- never mind acid rain, nuclear power and genetically modified organisms.

The modern Green movement began with the publication of Rachel Carson's 'Silent Spring', the 1962 book which awoke in millions the sense that the Earth as a whole was threatened by human actions and needed to be defended.

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