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Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century epub

by Mark Dowie


Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century epub

ISBN: 0262041472

ISBN13: 978-0262041478

Author: Mark Dowie

Category: Science

Subcategory: Earth Sciences

Language: English

Publisher: Mit Pr; 1st edition (April 1, 1995)

Pages: 400 pages

ePUB book: 1448 kb

FB2 book: 1784 kb

Rating: 4.7

Votes: 851

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Home, Multimedia Library, Books & Profiles, Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close o. .Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century. Dowie, Mark from Multimedia Library Collection: Books & Profiles. He unveils the inside stories behind American environmentalism’s undeniable triumphs and its quite unnecessary failures.

So states Mark Dowie in this provocative critique of the mainstream American environmental movement. He unveils the inside stories behind American environmentalism's undeniable triumphs and its quite unnecessary failures.

Mark Dowie's Losing Ground is a vital part of the debate to restore and strengthen the conservation and environmental . The elections of 2000 and 2002 have shown that the mainstream environmental organizations in the . have lost most of their strength in the political arena.

Mark Dowie's Losing Ground is a vital part of the debate to restore and strengthen the conservation and environmental movements. Despite major attempts to influence elections. the Senatorial race in Colorado for example. their efforts were either not effective or salient to the electorate.

Losing Ground is an ambitious and brave book  . Good slice of specific history that draws on fairly specific threads of environmental movement work at the end of the twentieth century, with a specific thesis - 'current strategies aren't working, but new things are maybe starting to bubble up' (that new thing being Environmental Justice). Funny, though, how reminiscent these conversations seem to current conversations in the 'climate movement' - especially given the political moment we're in.

Book Description "Losing Ground is an ambitious and brave book Dowie takes a fresh look at the formation of the American environmental imagination and examines it.

Book Description "Losing Ground is an ambitious and brave book. one of the truly important books on a genuinely American social movement. - The Washington Times

In Losing Ground, Dowie argues that the environmental movement is.

In Losing Ground, Dowie argues that the environmental movement is "courting irrelevance"; unable to meet its stated goals, it lost ground during the conservative and corporate 1980s and can now choose to evolve or di. Dowie begins with the historical antecedents of the environmental movement in America, arguing that the movement is based in the "environmental imagination" of a harmonious and pristine environment. He cites influences from the Bible to Henry David Thoreau to Gifford Pinchot and John Muir and Aldo Leopold.

Losing Ground: American Environmentalism at the Close of the Twentieth Century. Revisions to the Safe Drinking Water Act approved by the Senate last month mark a significant change in at least one branch of Congress' reaction to environmental problems. The bill, S. 2019, would give the Environmental Protection Agency and state governments more flexibility in addressing water contamination problems as opposed to the usual response of mandating ever more specific criteria for.

Losing Ground unveils the inside stories behind American environmentalism's undeniable triumphs and its quite unnecessary failures.

Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, Volume 15, pp 200-200; doi:10. Keywords: ISBN, Losing Ground, American Environmentalism, MIT Press, Mark Dowie, twentieth century, Cambridge.

The journalist who broke the stories on the Dalkon shield and Ford Pinto offers a critique of the mainstream American environmental movement, from its conservationist origins to the advent of the "fourth wave" of today's environmentalists. UP.
Perhaps the greatest weakness of individual environmentalists and the
environmental "movement" is the absence of public self-examination. While
political insiders may clearly see the difference between the National Wildlife
Federation and the Sierra Club, the public has few resources to gauge them.
Opening the doors is author Mark Dowie, a champion of local activism and the
integration of environmental issues with other social movements. Tracing the
origins and bureaucratization of the environmental movement, Dowie criticizes
the most recent surge of co-option, the "third wave" or economics-based
environmentalism.

"Regulatory flexibility and 'constructive engagement' with
industry have created some business heroes, but they can be counted on one
hand," he writes. "The rest, unfortunately, need to be regulated." This is not to
say this book is a rant against environmental business. There are no heroes or
villains in this book, which makes it a rarity in the environmental lexicon.
Instead, Dowie criticizes the corporate structure of environmental groups, and
portrays each organization with their individual merits and flaws. Compromising
Local Leadership Dowie reminds readers of the decision by the Natural
Resources Defense Council and Cultural Survival to negotiate with the
Ecuadorian government over oil drilling in the Yasuni Reserve. Arguing that oil
drilling would be inevitable, and "[w]ithout consulting the Huaorani people or the
appropriate Ecuadorian environmental organizations, [NRDC's] Scherr and
Kennedy struck a deal: Conoco could drill on the Huaoroni reserve in return for
a $10-million donation to an Ecuadorian foundation created by NRDC and
Cultural Survival, an indigenous-rights groups based in Cambridge,
Massachusetts."

The NAFTA debate saw essentially the same argument made: free
trade is inevitable, so environmentalists have to go along and get what they can.
NAFTA's "It's a win-win-win situation" argument was accepted by various
environmental groups. In the long run, the agreement and side provisions may
indeed provide resources and rewards for cross-border environmental planning.
But Dowie draws back to review the consequences of increased commerce.

"It
should be clear to any environmental thinker that free trade can only lead to the
globalization of massive, consumer- based economies that are, in the long run,
whatever the legislated safeguards, ecologically destructive. But mainstream
environmental officials evidently don't think a lot about the distant future. Like
the corporations they have come to resemble, they tend to be occupied with the
day-to-day imperatives of strategy, competition and survival." From a parochial
viewpoint, it would have been interesting had Dowie included a critique of the
way in which many D.C. groups finally "discovered" environmental problems
along the border and how most of these organizations lost interest in the border
after NAFTA passed.

It would also be interesting to document the criticism the
mainstream groups made of those local groups that disagreed with them on the
potential consequences of NAFTA. At the Center and Stumbling The problem
with mainstream environmental groups stems from their decisions in the 1980s to
focus energies on power plays in Washington, D.C., instead of reaching out to
state and community organizations.

Had the focus remained on "reaching out to
state, local and regional organizations," he writes, "the American environmental
movement today would be much stronger and more consequential than it is. An
explosive critical mass of national activism could have been formed. Instead, a
relatively harmless and effete new club appeared." Dowie suggests that the
disproportionate ratio of funding (70 percent to 30 percent) between mainstream
and grassroots groups remains an obstacle for community organization,
suggesting that "a 20-point shift, of $200 million would change the complexity of
the entire environmental community."

The publication of Losing Ground offers
readers an insightful view of relations among environmental groups, many of
which demand transparency in government and business circles, but not among
themselves or their colleagues. This is one of the most valuable guidebooks and is
one of the year's must-reads.
Although this book is now 7 years old, it seems more relevant today than when Dowie wrote it. I keep hoping for a new, revised, edition. The elections of 2000 and 2002 have shown that the mainstream environmental organizations in the U.S. have lost most of their strength in the political arena. Despite major attempts to influence elections. . .the Senatorial race in Colorado for example. . .their efforts were either not effective or salient to the electorate. The Green Party seems to have filtered off those voters who are primarily concerned with environmental issues and most indications are that those voters are not impressed with the mainstream environmental establishment in the U.S. The Green Parties of Europe seem to be making a resurgence, but progress in the U.S. is not evident.
Dowie's main critique is of the established, major environmental organizations; those groups who enjoyed so much growth during the Reagan era as a reaction to James Watt and others in the Reagan Cabinet. While Gale Norton is from the same mold as Watt, and Christy Todd Whitman is not far removed, they do not seem to be provoking the same degree of unrest among America's electorate. Arguable the Administration of George "5-4" W. Bush is even worse than Reagan Administration in Environmental Policy, and seem to be drifting even further since the 2002 elections. However the major environmental organizations do not seem to be able to focus attention, or perhaps interest, on this issue. The reason for that may be changing social and cultural norms, but it also may be due to the perception that these organizations are not relevant.
Dowie's book may be a bit out-of-date, but it is well worth the read. I think Dowie was right in 1995 and his ideas still ring true today.
I think Mark Dowie did a great job showing some problems of today. Even though I feel this book was meant to be read in the mid-1990s, Dowie's points are still valid. Dowie also showed how different groups that call themselves *environmentalists* have different areas of concern (not all are out to save the "cute fuzzy animals," but have other important concerns/issues).