Presentation on theme: "Chapter 21 Section 5 Environmentalism. DDT In 1966 a Long Island family discovered that the pesticide DDT was being used to control mosquitoes at a lake."— Presentation transcript:
DDT In 1966 a Long Island family discovered that the pesticide DDT was being used to control mosquitoes at a lake near their home. They feared that the pesticide might poison the lake and sued to stop its use.
Banning DDT Scientists involved in the case established the Environmental Defense Fund to help stop the use of DDT throughout the country. In 1972, the Environmental Defense Fund was able to get a nationwide ban on the pesticide DDT.
Silent Spring Rachel Carson helped start the new environmental movement. In her book Silent Spring, Carson wrote of the danger of the increasing use of pesticides. Many Americans took Carson’s warnings seriously.
Pollution They also saw that smog, or fog made heavier and darker by smoke and chemical fumes, covered many cities. Acres of forests were being cut down in the Northwest. Pollution and garbage had caused the death of nearly all the fish in Lake Erie. Many people believed it was time to take action.
Discrediting Carson The chemical industry was outraged and reacts to Rachel Carson’s arguments by beginning an intense campaign to discredit her.
Earth Day In April 1970 the nation held the first Earth Day, a day devoted to environmental issues.
Environmental Groups Soon many people formed local environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society.
Natural Resources Defense Council The Natural Resources Defense Council was made up of scientists, lawyers, and activists working on environmental issues.
EPA With the environmental movement gaining support, the federal government became involved with environmental issues. In 1970 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established. Its job was to set and enforce pollution standards. The agency also coordinated antipollution activities with state and local governments.
Clean Air Act The Clean Air Act established air emissions standards for factories and automobiles and ordered that all industries comply with such standards within five years.
Clean Water Act The Clean Water Act limited the amount of pollutants that could be released into the nation’s lakes and rivers.
Endangered Species Act The Endangered Species Act set up measures for saving threatened animal species. These laws eventually helped improve the nation’s environment.
Community Activism One of the most powerful displays of community activism in the country in the 1970s occurred in a housing development called Love Canal near Niagara Falls, New York.
Love Canal People in Love Canal noticed a high rate of health problems in their community. The problems included nerve damage, blood diseases, and cancer.
Toxic Waste Dump The people learned that their community was located on top of an old toxic waste dump. The hazardous materials in the dump had leaked into the ground. The people of Love Canal demanded that the government address the problem.
Love Canal = Disaster Area After they made the problem known to the entire nation, the state relocated about 200 families. In 1980 President Carter declared Love Canal a federal disaster area. He moved the 600 remaining families to new locations.
Lawsuit The Love Canal residents sued the company that created the dumpsite. They settled the case for $20 million. The site was cleaned up and homes above the dumping ground were burned.
Nuclear Power During the 1970s, many Americans were concerned about the growth of nuclear power energy. Those who supported the use of nuclear power claimed it was a cleaner and less expensive alternative to fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, or natural gas.
Against Nuclear Power Those who opposed the use of nuclear power warned of the risks that nuclear energy posed, particularly if radiation was accidentally released into the air.
Three Mile Island On March 28, 1979, one of the reactors at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (which is less than 200 miles from our location), overheated. Two days later, low levels of radiation escaped from the reactor. Nearby residents were evacuated. Others left on their own. – Citizens staged protests.
Closing the Reactor Today The reactor at Three Mile Island was closed down and the leak was sealed. The accident left many people doubtful about the safety of nuclear energy. – The doubts continue today.