Chapter 2 Summary - CarrollEnvironmentalScience

Chapter 2 Summary
2-1 Cultural Changes and the Environment
During most of their 60,000-year existence, humans were hunter-gatherers. Their environmental
impact was limited and local.
The agricultural revolution began 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Early growers relied on slash-andburn cultivation and shifting cultivation, which had a low environmental impact. More advanced
agriculture has increased food supplies.
The industrial-medical revolution began in England in the mid-1700s and spread to the United
States in the 1800s. We are currently in the midst of a new cultural shift, the information and
globalization revolution.
2-2 Environmental History of the United States: The Tribal and Frontier Eras
Native Americans practiced hunting and gathering and traditional nonindustrial agriculture. The
frontier environmental worldview of the colonists contrasted with that of some Native American
2-3 Environmental History of the United States: The Early Conservation Era (1832-1960)
Early conservationists focused attention on resource depletion and degradation in the United
States. Theodore Roosevelt's term of office has been called the country's "Golden Age of
Conservation." He established the first National Wildlife Refuge, created the National Forest
Service, and used the 1906 Antiquities Act to protect the Grand Canyon and other areas that later
became National Parks.
In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt established the Tennessee Valley Authority and Civilian
Conservation Corps to help protect the country's public lands and provide jobs, cheap electricity,
and flood control.
2-4 Environmental History of the United States: The Environmental Era (1960-2004)
In 1962, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, which contributed to the beginning of the
modern environmental movement. The 1960s saw an increased awareness of the science of
The first annual Earth Day was held in 1970, the same year that Richard Nixon established the
Environmental Protection Agency. Nixon also supported the passage of the Endangered Species
Act of 1973.
Jimmy Carter (president 1977-1981) created a Department of Energy and a Superfund to clean
up hazardous waste.
The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Sr. allowed some environmental laws
to be undercut and supported exploitation of resources on public lands.
During Bill Clinton's administration (1993-2001), environmentalists were appointed to key
positions in environmental and resource agencies. Since 2001, George Bush has weakened many
environmental protections.
2-5 Case Study: Aldo Leopold and His Land Ethic
Aldo Leopold founded the profession of game management, was one of the founders of the
Wilderness Society, and authored the book A Sand County Almanac. He was a proponent of land
ethics, a philosophy in which humans have an ethical responsibility to preserve wild nature.