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The Environmental Debate

The Environmental Debate is a unique collection of primary documents that examines the evolution of concern about environmental degradation, pollution, and resource conservation in America from Biblical times to the present.   

 Since the last edition of The Environmental Debate was published in 2017, controversy over environmental issues has only intensified. Air and water pollution, waste disposal, and alternative energy sources continue to be debated with urgency, and while climate change becomes an undeniable climate crisis, there are still those who vehemently deny it.

This new edition brings current a wide range of environmental issues, from the worthiness of reviving coal production to political grappling over environmental regulations, and even the notion of “de-extinction”—reviving species that were previously declared extinct. Most importantly, it addresses the topic causing the most controversy–the growing climate crisis that is wreaking havoc on weather patterns, causing devastating storms and wildfires, and its connection to worldwide diseases such as COVID-19, and species loss.

Two new chapters have been added to this edition: Environmental Politics in a New Millennium, 2000–2010; and Environmentalism in the Climate Crisis, 2010-2023.  In addition, expanded Chapter Introductions provide more guidance to readers as they learn about the documents covered in each section.

 Environmental Organizations , a detailed Glossary, Sources for Further Reading and an Index

These documents chronicle the evolution of environmental movements in the U.S., and show how environmental interests and organizations have evolved alongside changing social, economic, and political conditions, and changing American views about the environment. These documents reveal patterns of changing attitudes about three fundamental environmental issues: conservation, pollution, and the human-nature relationship.

Documents include diaries of explorers, letters from politicians, relevant fictional excerpts, speeches of scientists, environmentalists and politicians, news articles, court cases, and laws passed. Detailed Historical Introductions begin each chapter and precede each primary document, to provide a context for analyzing each document and will aid readers in better understanding the various stands taken in debates over how, why, and if our environment needs to be protected.

The text is extensively cross-referenced to help compare and contrast opinions and goals from one time to another. Each document includes complete citations, making additional research easy and quick.

Additional materials include a lengthy General Introduction, Significant Dates in American Environmental History, Major International Environmental Organizations, a detailed Glossary, Sources for Further Reading and a Cumulative Index.

By sampling from some of the most influential and interesting writings on this issue, from before American nationhood began to the modern era of environmental crisis, this revised fourth edition of The Environmental Debate will help to demonstrate how America reached its current state of environmental imagination and action, and will demonstrate how this issue may evolve in the coming years and decades.

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Pub. Date: August 2023
Hardcover: 387 pages
ISBN: 978-1-63700-558-3
Price: $165
Includes Free Online Access on the Salem Press Platform
e-ISBN: 978-1-63700-559-0
eBook User Price: $206