The grand social and ideological systems that people construct for themselves invariably carry large consequences, for the environment no less than for more strictly human affairs. Among the swirl of ideas, policies, and political structures of the twentieth century, the most ecologically influential were the growth imperative and the (not unrelated) security anxiety that together dominated policy around the world. … By 1970, however, something new was afoot.
Ideas Matter: A Political History of the Twentieth-Century Environment
J. R. McNeill is a professor at Georgetown University, where he has taught environmental and international history since 1985. His books include Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (New York: Norton, 2000), from which this article is excerpted with permission, and The Mountains of the Mediterranean World: An Environmental History (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992). Copyright 2000 by J. R. McNeill.
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J. R. McNeill; Ideas Matter: A Political History of the Twentieth-Century Environment. Current History 1 November 2000; 99 (640): 371–382. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/curh.2000.99.640.371
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