every day is earth day…or at least, today is

Happy Earth Day! The history of America’s relationship to the environment is both unique and multi-faceted. An interesting take on the evolving American attitude toward wilderness and the environment can be found here, and if you’d like to pursue the subject further off-line, the book Wilderness and the American Mind is a good starting point.

Contemporary texts provide insight into American attitudes toward nature. Project Gutenberg, a perennial favorite of mine, has an electronic version of Thoreau’s Walden, which provides an interesting picture, on both intentional and unintentional levels, of nineteenth-century America’s relationship to the environment. Excerpts from the works of the American naturalist Aldo Leopold can be found here. Check out the life and words of John Muir here. An early encounter between Europeans and the land and peoples of the American West is recorded in Lewis and Clark’s journals.

A timeline of American wilderness conservation can be found here; and finally, here is a rather formidable-looking collation of links on American environmental history.

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