Atmospheric diffusion by Frank Pasquill, F.B. Smith

By Frank Pasquill, F.B. Smith

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If so, how did the Sierra Club’s vision of preserving pristine nature shorn of all humanity fit into this idea? How was the conservationist ethic to be squared with the developmental imperative that oversaw the building of oil pipelines in Alaska and oil refineries in Honolulu? Would the US government advocate a decrease in national prosperity in order to preserve nature? Issues such as these seem not immediately to have troubled senator Nelson, who later recalled that the genesis of Earth Day lay in the ‘national conservation tours’ that he persuaded President John F.

12). What then does the latter consist of? The concept of modes of resource use extends the realm of production to include flora, fauna, water, and minerals … While complementing the mode of production framework, the mode of resource use scheme incorporates two additional dimensions. First, it examines whether one can identify characteristic ideologies that govern different modes. More importantly, it identifies the ecological impact of various modes. (p. 13) Now, although Guha contends that this approach is a supplement to the analysis of the production process, it seems to me that resource use is in fact only another name for consumption, albeit a consumption of natural elements of flora, fauna and so on.

Indeed, on emotionally charged public occasions such as the hugely successful ‘Earth Day’ held all across the USA in 1970, the power of these ideas became visible. Time Magazine described the event as having aspects of a ‘secular, almost pagan holiday’ and yet noted its solemnity – ‘it touched the American imagination with a memento mori, a vision as primitive as trilobites and novel as the idea of a windless, uninhabited earth orbiting on’ (‘A Memento Mori to the Earth’, Time Magazine 1970). This paradoxical combination of celebration and an apocalyptic imaginary captured the essential contradiction that ran through the first Earth Day – that despite the general concern about the environment there was no settled sense of what environmentalism was or ought to be.

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