Shared Flashcard Set


Hist 351
Environmental History
Undergraduate 2

Additional History Flashcards




James Watt
Head of the Department of the Interior under Reagan, beginning 1980. Fan of strong property rights, became famous for selling off federal lands. He was a lawyer from Wyoming and represented business interests—former head of the Mountain States Legal Foundation. In 1981, Watt met w environment groups and announced there would be no more meetings. He shared Reagan's belief for privatization. Refused to spend money to buy additional lands for the parks system. Wanted to use money to build hotels, and give hotels and shops larger role in park policy. Watt also wanted to sell 37 mil aces to raise money to pay off fed debt. He stated, “I want to change 700 successor will ever turn them back.” He also wanted to open 1 mil acres on Continental shelf for drilling, and allow strip mining in AK , many efforts got tied up in court.
Watt resigned under scandal. Before he left, he changed the seal of the dept of interior so buffalo faced right instead of left. Born-again Christian, impacted his approach to his job, believed armageddon coming soon, no need to preserve resources for the long term. Upturn in people in environmental orgs during the 1980's-- all people who opposed Watt and his policies.
Kentucky bluegrass
Rose to prominence with the rise of suburbs in the late 40's and early 50's. Suburbs as the escape from the city—a female centred world in which family was central. Laws used to be an upper class tradition, but with suburbs, Kentucky bluegrass was everywhere. Most common plant in the US. Originated in England, made for grazing sheep ( and other animals). Needed heavy application of water and nitrogen to be sustainable—a monoculture plant. It also needed DDT in the early 50's/ Today the average acre of lawn needs more chemicals than the average acre of farmland.
Home Owner's Loan Corporation, founded in 1933 to help the housing industry during the Great Depression ( from 1928-1933, housing construction fell 95%, foreclosures as high as 1,000 a day in 1933). Purpose of HOLC: 1. Expended mortgages to 20 plus years, 2. Allowed for people to only put 10% down, making houses more affordable to all, 3. instituted a systematic appraisal program, with redlining to profile against certain neighbourhoods (institutionalizing racist housing in the US). HOLC sets the stage for the rise of suburbia, and introduces the federal government for the first time, into what was a private institution. HOLC also ensures that most mortgages are established by federal lenders.
J. I. Rodale
Popularized the ideas of Sir Albert Howard—book on organics, “An Agricultural Testament” in 1940. Rodale wasn't a scientist—into all kinds of things, but had a farm in PA, tested out organic methods. His company started “Prevention” “Running Magazine” Popular press in the US. Howard was the scientist, Rodale was the popularizer.
“Organic gardening” magazine had tens of thousands of readers, ppl more attached to environment through this discourse, than the means we typically think of. Most intimate connection to the land is the food we put in our mouths.
Rodale questioned the NPK mentality, embracing only what science and industry could quantify, discounting the value of everything else. He stated,“We cannot go on treating the soil as a chemical laboratory, and expect to get natural food.”
Dust Bowl
1930's, during the Great Depression, the loss of agriculture on the Great Plains, drought, caused great migrations of residents. Some of the worst dust storms in history, causing the soil to blow away (Dorothea Lange images).Roots of the dust bowl less in the drought than in the treatment of the land as a form of capital. “Okies” came in great number into California, expanded the farming population.
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