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Timeline of Environmental awareness

Timeline of Environmental awareness

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Timeline of Environmental awareness

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  1. Timeline of Environmental awareness An introduction to Wikipedia articles related to ESS

  2. Events Click on the box you would like to explore. People Treaties

  3. Some influential people in the development of environmental awareness 1775 1800 1825 1850 1875 1900 1925 1950 1975 2000 Back to People Treaties Events

  4. Adam Smith (1776) • - Wrote An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations- The first modern work of economics; Introduced the idea of mercantilism and the free market. Leads to the idea that “Self interest is good” credited with being formative in the development of Capitalism. (However he also noted “"the savage injustice of the Europeans" arriving in America, "rendered an event, which ought to have been beneficial to all, ruinous and destructive to several of those unfortunate countries." The Native Americans, "far from having ever injured the people of Europe, had received the first adventurers with every mark of kindness and hospitality." However, "superiority of force" was "so great on the side of the Europeans, that they were enabled to commit with impunity every sort of injustice in those remote countries." Back to Timeline

  5. Chief Seattle (1865) Leader of the Suquamish and Duwamish Native American tribes. A widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans’ land rights has been attributed to him; “You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of your grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children what we have taught our children; that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves. This we know: The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.” Back to Timeline

  6. Theodore Roosevelt (1910) • one of the first Presidents to make conservation a national issue. In a speech that Roosevelt gave at Osawatomie, Kansas, on August 31, 1910, he outlined his views on conservation of the lands of the United States. He favored the use of America's natural resources, but not the misuse of them through wasteful consumption. One of his most lasting legacies was his significant role in the creation of 150 National Forests, five national parks, and 18 national monuments, among other works of conservation. In total, Roosevelt was instrumental in the conservation of approximately 230 million acres of American soil among various parks and other federal projects. Back to Timeline

  7. Gifford Pinchot(1910) • was the first professionally trained forester in the United States. His collaboration with Roosevelt was instrumental in establishing a conservation movement in the USA. Back to Timeline

  8. Rachel Carson (1962) • was an American marine biologist and nature writer whose writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. She wrote Silent Spring; a book about conservation and the environmental problems caused by synthetic pesticides. The book spurred a reversal in US national pesticide policy—leading to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides—and the grassroots environmental movement the book inspired led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Back to Timeline

  9. James Lovelock (1979) is an English independent scientist, and environmentalist. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating object with the ability to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment. Back to Timeline

  10. Some important Treaties in the development of environmental awareness Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Back to People Treaties Events

  11. Formation of the UNEP (1972) • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) coordinates United Nations environmental activities, assisting developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. It was founded as a result of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in June 1972 and has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. UNEP also has six regional offices and various country offices. Back to Timeline

  12. CITES (1975) • CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, also known as the Washington Convention) is an international agreement between governments, drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The text of the convention was agreed upon in 1973, and CITES entered into force on 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33,000 species of animals and plants. Back to Timeline

  13. Establishment of IPCC (1988) • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is a scientific intergovernmental bodytasked with evaluating the risk of climate change caused by human activity. The panel was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), two organizations of the United Nations. The IPCC shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President of the United States Al Gore Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Back to Timeline

  14. Montreal Protocol (1989) • Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. • Image - The largest Antarctic ozone hole recorded as of September 2006 Back to Timeline

  15. Rio Earth Summit (1992) The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), June 1992. 172 governments participated, with 108 sending their heads of state or government. 2,400 representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attended 17,000 people at the parallel NGO "Global Forum", The issues addressed included: production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste including radioactive chemicals alternative sources of energy to replace the use of fossil Encouraging the use of public transportation systems the growing scarcity of water Led to the Kyoto Protocol. Another agreement was to "not carry out any activities on the lands of indigenous peoples that would cause environmental degradation or that would be culturally inappropriate". The Convention on Biological Diversity was opened for signature. The Earth Summit resulted in the following documents: Rio Declaration on Environment and Development Agenda 21 Convention on Biological Diversity Forest Principles Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Both Convention on Biological Diversity and Framework Convention on Climate Change were set as legally binding agreements. The Green Cross International was founded to build upon the work of the Summit. Critics, however, point out that many of the agreements made in Rio have not been realized regarding such fundamental issues as fighting poverty and cleaning up the environment. Back to Timeline

  16. Kyoto Protocol (1997) • Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as of June 2009, where dark green indicates the countries that have signed and ratified the treaty, grey is not yet decided and red is no intention to ratify. Back to Timeline

  17. Greenpeace (1971) • Greenpeace is a non-governmental environmental organisationwith offices in over 40 countries and with an international coordinating body in Amsterdam, Netherlands.Greenpeace states its goal is to "ensure the ability of the Earth to nurture life in all its diversity“. Greenpeace uses direct action, lobbying and research to achieve its goals. The global organization does not accept funding from governments, corporations or political parties, relying on more than 2.8 million individual supporters and foundation grants. • Greenpeace evolved from the peace movement and anti-nuclear protests in Vancouver, British Columbia in the early 1970s. On September 15, 1971, the newly founded Don'tMake a Wave Committee sent a chartered ship, Phyllis Cormack, renamed Greenpeace for the protest, from Vancouver to oppose United States testing of nuclear devices in Amchitka, Alaska. The Don't Make a Wave Committee subsequently adopted the name Greenpeace. • In a few years Greenpeace spread to several countries and started to campaign on other environmental issues such as commercial whaling and toxic waste. In the late 1970s the different regional Greenpeace groups formed Greenpeace International to oversee the goals and operations of the regional organisations globally.Greenpeace received international attention during the 80s when the French intelligence agency bombed the Rainbow Warrior, one of the most well-known vessels operated by Greenpeace, killing one.In the following years Greenpeace evolved into one of the largest environmental organisations in the world. • Today Greenpeace focuses on world wide issues such as global warming, deforestation, overfishing, commercial whaling and nuclear power. Greenpeace is known for its direct actionsand has been described as the most visible environmental organization in the world. Campaigns of Greenpeace have raised environmental issues to public knowledgeand influenced both the private and the public sectorbut Greenpeace has also been a source of controversy.Its motives and methods have received criticism and the organization's direct actions have sparked legal actions against Greenpeace activists. Back to Timeline

  18. Some events that changed the world 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 Back to People Treaties Events

  19. Dust Bowl(1930 to 1936) • The Dirty Thirties was a period of severe dust storms causing major ecological and agricultural damage to American and Canadian prairie lands from 1930 to 1936 (in some areas until 1940). The phenomenon was caused by severe drought coupled with decades of extensive farming without crop rotation, fallow fields, cover crops or other techniques to prevent erosion. Deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains had displaced the natural grasses that normally kept the soil in place and trapped moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. Back to Timeline

  20. Minamata (1956) • Minimata disease is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. It can also affect fetuses in the womb. • The disease was first discovered in Minamata city, Japan in 1956. It was caused by the release of methylmercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which when eaten by the local populace resulted in mercury poisoning. While cat, dog, pig and human deaths continued over more than 30 years, the government and company did little to prevent the pollution. • As of March 2001, 2,265 victims had been officially recognised (1,784 of whom had died) and over 10,000 had received financial compensation from Chisso. By 2004, Chisso Corporation had paid $86 million in compensation, and in the same year was ordered to clean up its contamination. On March 29, 2010, a settlement was reached to compensate as-yet uncertified victims Back to Timeline

  21. DDT (1962) • DichloroDiphenylTrichloroethane) is one of the most well-known synthetic pesticides. In 1962, American biologist Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of indiscriminate DDT use in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on the environment or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was a signature event in the birth of the environmental movement. It produced a large public outcry that led to a 1972 ban in the US. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide under the Stockholm Convention, but limited, controversial use in disease vector control continues. • Along with the Endangered Species Act, the US DDT ban is cited by scientists as a major factor in the comeback of the bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, from near-extinction in the contiguous US. Back to Timeline

  22. Chernobyl disaster(April 1986) • was a nuclear accident that occurred on 26 April 1986, at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union). It is considered the worst nuclear power plant accident in history and is the only level 7 event on the International Nuclear Event Scale. • The disaster occurred on 26 April 1986, at reactor number four at the Chernobyl plant, near the town of Pripyat in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), during systems test at low power causing the reactor vessel to explode. This exposed the reactor to air and it caught fire sending a plume of radioactive fallout into the atmosphere. The plume drifted over large parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Northern Europe. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia had to be evacuated, with over 336,000 people resettled. According to official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the fallout landed in Belarus. • The accident raised concerns about the safety of the Soviet nuclear power industry as well as nuclear power in general, slowing its expansion for a number of years while forcing the Soviet government to become less secretive about its procedures. • The countries of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are still doing the huge decontamination and paying the health care costs of the Chernobyl accident. A 2006 report prepared by the Chernobyl Forum, led by the World Health Organization (WHO) states, "Among the 134 emergency workers involved in the …(fixing immediately after)… the Chernobyl accident, 28 persons died in 1986 due to ARS(Acute Radiation Syndrome), and 19 more persons died in 1987-2004 from different causes. Among the general population affected by Chernobyl radioactive fallout, the much lower exposures meant that ARS cases did not occur". It is estimated that there were 4,995 additional deaths, between 1991 -1998, among the approximately 60,000 most highly exposed people. Back to Timeline

  23. Set up of National Parks in The UK (1949) The original ten National Parks of England and Wales were set up in the 1950s following an Act of Parliament in 1949. They were chosen as “extensive areas of beautiful and relatively wild country” and are regarded as our most outstanding and unspoilt landscapes. The purposes of the National Parks are: • To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area • To promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the Parks’ special qualities by the public Back to Timeline

  24. Set up of National Parks in the USA (1872 to 2004) • The United States has 58 protected areas known as national parks, which are operated by the National Park Service. • National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. • The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. • The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Back to Timeline

  25. Ozone Holes (Late 1970s to Present) • Holes in the Ozone layer describes two distinct, but related observations: a slow, steady decline of about 4 percent per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere since the late 1970s, and a much larger, but seasonal, decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions during the same period. The latter phenomenon is commonly referred to as the ozone hole. In addition to this well-known stratospheric ozone depletion, there are also tropospheric ozone depletion events, which occur near the surface in Polar Regions during spring. • The most important process in both trends is catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic chlorine and bromine. The main source of these halogen atoms in the stratosphere is photodissociation of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) compounds. These compounds are transported into the stratosphere after being emitted at the surface. Ozone depletion strengthened as emissions of CFCs increased. • Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful UVB wavelengths (270–315 nm) of ultraviolet light (UV light) from passing through the Earth's atmosphere with a variety of suspected biological consequences such as increases in skin cancer, cataracts,[3] damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations in the ocean's photic zone may result from the increased UV exposure due to ozone depletion. • Montreal Protocol. Back to Timeline

  26. Bhopal disaster (December 1984) • The Bhopal disaster or Bhopal Gas Tragedy is the world's worst industrial catastrophe. It occurred on the night of December 2-3, 1984 at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. • A leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other chemicals from the plant resulted in the exposure of several thousands of people. Estimates vary on the death toll. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has confirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release.Other government agencies estimate 15,000 deaths.Others estimate that 8,000 died within the first weeks and that another 8,000 have since died from gas-related diseases. A government affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and around 3900 severely and permanently disabling injuries. • Chemicals abandoned at the plant continue to leak and pollute the ground-water. Whether the chemicals pose a health hazard is disputed. Back to Timeline

  27. Exon Valdize (March 1989) • The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in Prince William Sound, Alaska, on March 24, 1989, when the Exxon Valdez, an oil tanker bound for Long Beach, California, struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef and spilled 260,000 to 750,000 barrels (41,000 to 119,000 m3) of crude oil. It is considered to be one of the most devastating human-caused environmental disasters ever to occur in history.As significant as the Valdez spill was — the largest ever in U.S. waters until the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill — it ranks well down on the list of the world's largest oil spills in terms of volume released.However, Prince William Sound's remote location, accessible only by helicopter, plane and boat, made government and industry response efforts difficult and severely taxed existing plans for response. The region is a habitat for salmon, sea otters, seals and seabirds. The oil, originally extracted at the Prudhoe Bay oil field, eventually covered 1,300 miles (2,100 km) of coastline, and 11,000 square miles (28,000 km2) of ocean Back to Timeline

  28. Rainbow Warrior Incident(July 1985) • The sinking of theRainbow Warrior, codenamed Opération Sataniquewas an operation by the "action" branch of the French foreign intelligence services, the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE), carried out on July 10, 1985. It aimed to sink the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, the Rainbow Warrior in the port of Auckland, New Zealand, to prevent her from interfering in a nuclear test in Moruroa. • Fernando Pereira, a photographer, drowned on the sinking ship. Two French agents were arrested by the New Zealand Police on passport fraud and immigration charges. They were charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, willful damage, and murder. As part of a plea bargain, they pleaded guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to ten years, of which they served just over two. • The scandal resulted in the resignation of the French Defence Minister Charles Hernu. Twenty years later, a report by the then head of French Intelligence, said the attack was authorized by French President François Mitterrand. Back to Timeline