Bring Green Movement Back to the Suburbs
Revive environmentalism by making climate change a local issue: Essay
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 21, 2012 9:47 AM CDT
Environmentalism has roots in the suburbs.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – This month marks the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring—but these days, the environmental movement seems to have lost its steam. Pollution ranked as the No. 1 problem in the US in a 1970 survey; today, it hardly ever makes the top five. Writing in the New York Times, Christopher Sellers has a prescription to revive the green movement: Start in the suburbs. The first environmentalists viewed the problem as a local one, a matter of "neighborly civic engagement" that gradually expanded.

They tackled problems such as air quality in slums and toxic waste at industrial sites in their neighborhoods. It's time to recapture that spirit and "reframe climate change as a local issue," writes Sellers. Instead of taking easy potshots at the car-happy 'burbs, modern environmentalists should instead recognize their potential. "The trick will be finding concerns that spark imaginations and mobilize group energies at this local level, and working from there." Read Sellers' full column here.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
Imhotep
Sep 22, 2012 1:23 PM CDT
Lawn landscaping should think xeriscaping for the future. Throw out some more green gravel and cactus to green it up. Water is not plentyful enough to waste it on lawns starving for tons of water. Not until they can put the planet back together and we get the rains we're supposed to get.
right2dave
Sep 22, 2012 7:12 AM CDT
Sort of like the Arab Spring?
gomer99
Sep 21, 2012 2:23 PM CDT
...yeah, yeah, yeah.... Another overage hippie out of work and out of favor. 'Burbanites are already in the forefront of REAL environmentalism.....they just don't make a lot of noise about it. And......old Rachel is responsible for more deaths than Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Gengis Kahn combined. Thanks to her, DDT was outlawed and something like 60 million people have since died from malaria. But.....we saved some birds.