Presentation on theme: "Environmental Issues Between 1900-1919 By Dan Sheridan."— Presentation transcript:
Environmental Issues Between 1900-1919 By Dan Sheridan
1900 -- May 25 -- Lacey ActLacey Act regulates interstate traffic in wild birds in order to stop importation of birds where they have become endangered. The act is a reaction to lobbying by the womens clubs and Audubon society.lobbying by the womens clubs and Audubon society Birds, particularly egrets, were being slaughtered on a mass scale to provide elegant plumes for ladies hats.
1900 -- Water pollution lawsuit The state of Missouri issues the state of Illinois and the City of Chicago's sewer system for polluting the Mississipi. Eventually, US Supreme Court allows the Chicago city sewer department to maintain a canal draining city sewage into the Des Plaines River and, eventually, the Mississippi River. In Missouri v. Illinois and the Sanitary District of Chicago,
1901 -- The American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society founded in New York developing out of the state-level Trustees of Scenic and Historic Places and Objects which had been founded by Andrew H. Green, president of the Commissioners of the State Reservation at Niagara, in 1895, and modelled after Britain's National Trust
National Bird Preserve 1903, March 14 -- President Theodore Roosevelt creates first National Bird Preserve, (the begining of the Wildlife Refuge system), on Pelican Island, Florida. In all, by 1909 the Roosevelt administration creates 42 million acres of national forests, 53 national wildlife refuges and 18 areas of "special interest," including the Grand Canyon. The record will not bet equaled until Bill Clinton's last year in office.
1904 Child lead poisoning first linked to lead-based paints (Warren). Ida Tarbell's book The History of Standard Oil exposes John D. Rockefeller's business methods and adds to the argument for controlling monopolies through stronger anti-trust laws. Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle describes the injustices faced by ordinary people at the hands of corporations, especially the meat packing industries. He also described the smoke from the great chimneys of Packingtown (Chicago)
A solar power plant using amonia Two American engineers, H.E. Willsie and John Boyle, set up the Willsie Sun Co. in St. Louis in 1904. A solar power plant using amonia drove a six horsepower engine, but the inventors decided to move to the desert of California to continue tests. By 1908 they built a system that had overcome many of the traditional problems of solar energy. The engine heated water in two stages of flat plate hot boxes, then used the pool of hot water as a heat source for a sulphur dioxide pump. Since hot water could be stored throughout the night, and still run the pump, the intermittant nature of solar energy was not a problem. The sun plant cost $164 per hp, compared to $40 to $90 for a conventional plant. For a while, operating costs favored the solar plant in the Southwest, where coal was hard to get. Willsie claimed the plant would pay for itself in two years. But when motors that used coal gas (4 times more efficient) were introduced, the savings became more elusive, and the Willsie company went out of business.
1905 Congress establishes first game preserve (later called wildlife refuges) in Wichita, Kansas National Audubon Society organized by George Bird Grinell to promote wildlife conservation. National Audubon Society It is a reorganization from an earlier attempt in 1886. The society is named in honor of wildlife painter John James Audubon (1785 - 1850). Merritt Clifton of Animal People writes of this event
1906 The Federal Food and Drug Act creates FDA to regulate the adulteration and misrepresenting of foods and drugs. The initial concern involves price, not health, but the act provides the constitutional basis for modern day regulation of testing, marketing and promotion of drugs US Congress passes the Burton Act, making diversion of water for power supplies subordinate to preservation of Niagara falls.
1907 Rachel Carson born. Biologist and author of Silent Spring, The Sea Wind and other non- fiction work intended to improve the public understanding of science, Carson became a leading figure in the environmental movement before her death in 1964. USDA Animal Health and Plant Health Inspection Service founded. Edward Howe Forbush publishes Useful Birds and Their Protection, the first major work by an American to analyze the economic importance of birds and the strategies necessary for their protection
1908 Teddy Roosevelt holds governors conference on conservation policy; forrester Gifford Pinchot chairs technical committee with follow-up report on national resource inventory. This became the National Conservation Commission, and its report, delivered Jan. 22, 1909, was called by Roosevelt "one of the most fundamentally important documents ever laid before the American people." National Bison Range established on Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana.
1909 Louis Glavis blows the whistle on the Alaskan coal scandal involving low-cost leases on federal land to companies that made huge profits selling coal for the shipping trade. France, Belgium and Austria ban white-lead interior paint.
1910 Japan presents 2,000 ornamental cherry trees to the city of Washington DC., but they are burned on the Washington monument grounds due to pests and diseases. On February 14, 1912, another 3,020 cherry trees of 12 varieties were shipped from Yokohama on board the S.S. Awa Maru, bound for Seattle. Upon arrival, they were transferred to insulated freight cars for the shipment to Washington where they now surround the tidal basin. Jacques Cousteau born. The French oceanographer, inventor, explorer and environmental activist helped people around the world understand that a threat to the oceans was a threat to all life on earth. Insecticide Act mandates that pesticides be effective if they are to be sold. Administstered by USDA, become FIFRA in 1947, EPA given oversight in 1972.
1911 Preparing a report about the 1909 Glascow incidents, Dr. Harold Antoine Des Voeux coins term "smog" as a contraction for smoke-fog which he proposes at the Smoke Coal Abatement Society meeting in Manchester, England. Wisconsin becomes first state to establish a workers compensation program
1912 David Brower born in Berkeley, California. President of the Sierra Club and founded of friends of earth and Earth island instute, Bower is remembers as an uncompromising environmental activist in the John Muir tradition. Frank Shuman's Sun Power Co. builds a massive solar irrigation pump in the Egyptian desert for the British government in 1912. The 55 horsepower plant cost $8,200, or about $150 per hp, but was economically viable in a remote location like Egypt. Shuman was hailed as a success in Europe and signed a $200,000 contract with the Germans to build a plant in S.W. Africa. But WWI intervened and the plant was never built. Federal Water and Sanitation Investigation Station established in Cincinnati. National Waterways Commission report recommends waterway improvements. National Audubon Society begins campaign to boycott hat makers using endangered tropical bird feathers.
1913 U.S.-Canada boundary pollution commission established. Following an initial report, Congress considered a bill to prevent dumping of sewage into the Great Lakes and its tributaries, but the Public Health Service objects on the basis that the bill would be enforced by localities with questionable jurisdiction. Fishermen have already gutted key provisions of a the treaty in 1906. The greatly weakened boundary commission can do little more than observe as conditions deteriorate. Migratory Bird Act to regulate hunting runs into controversy; spring hunting and marketing of hunted birds prohibited; treaty with Canada in 1918 solidifies regulations. Act also prohibits importation of wild bird feathers for women's fashion into the U.S., ending "millinery murder." William T. Hornaday, head of New York Zoological Society, writes Our Vanishing Wildlife, Its Extermination and Preservation. By 1914, he helps establish the Permanent Wildlife Protection Fund with grants from Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford and George Eastman. McLean Act gives Secretary of Agriculture power to regulate waterfowl seasons.
1914 Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Mines, Public Health Service begin pollution surveys of streams and harbors. Reports filed over the next eight years show an accumulation of heavy damage from oil dumping, mine runoff, untreated sewage and industrial waste
1915 California legislature authorizes $10,000 to start planning and construction of the John Muir Trail. Dinosaur National Monument established in Utah.
1916 National Park Service created. President Woodrow Wilson created the national park system with the Organic Act of 1916 designed to "conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects [and] leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." According to the Environmental News Network, there are now 77.5 million acres of land preserved in the Park system. One inspiration that helped the Organic Act pass Congress was a motion picture of proposed park areas by photographer Herford Cowling. GM and United Motors buy Charles Kettering's DELCO, leaving him free to begin experiments with preventing engine knock that lead to leaded gasoline. By 1919, Kettering's research group will become the nucleus of the General Motors research division, and the engine knock experiments will lead to leaded gasoline by 1921.
1917 Corps of Engineers removed lock gates in old canal in Virginia's Dismal Swamp, allowing salt water into North Carolina's Currituck Sound, a major waterfowl estuary. After a fight with the Corps of Engineers, environmental activists finally persuade Congress in 1930 to restore the gates and preserve the sound Mount McKinley National Park established in Alaska
1918 Save the Redwoods League founded. Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada restricts hunting of geese and other migratory birds. Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky says: "The proper goal of communism is the domination of nature by technology and the domination of technology by planning, so that raw materials of nature will yield to mankind all that it needs and more besides." This philosophy will lead to environmental disasters in decades ahead.
1919 London General Omnibus Co. experiments prove effectiveness of ethanol as antiknock (octane booster).