Chapter

America and the Environment

John Wills

in American Thought and Culture in the 21st Century

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780748626014
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670673 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626014.003.0013
America and the Environment

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John Wills begins this chapter by contrasting the place of the environment for Henry David Thoreau in the 1840s with its status in the early twenty-first century, in which the preservation of national parks sits alongside the heavy toll on the natural world caused by 150 years of industrialisation and commerce. Exploring the United States as a place of extremes and contradictions when it comes to environmental issues, the chapter focuses in particular on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and related issues of global warming and energy consumption. Wills moves on to consider the growing environmental consciousness of the new century, green-branded commerce, the new commitment to green technology amongst major manufacturers, and national environmental policies. The chapter ends with a consideration of Al Gore’s environmental film An Inconvenient Truth (2006) as a contemporary take on Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring (1962) for promoting the environmental message.

Keywords: Environment; Natural World; Hurricane Katrina; Global Warming; Green Technology; Al Gore; Rachel Carson

Chapter.  5847 words. 

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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