John Muir: The Environmentalist Movement

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The environmentalist movement began simply to protect wildlife from the greed of corporations, like stated by author, John Muir. Farmers began to use techniques that mirrored the same, environment-damaging business tactics as corporations (which encouraged heavy amounts of chemicals to be used to catalyze production). This caused environmentalists like Wendell Berry to speak out against the chemicals and tactics used, developing the environmentalist movement. The biggest shift in the movement happened when society realized its impact on the environment. Authors like Rachel Carson urge humanity to preserve the environment by outlawing the use of chemicals. Meanwhile, Bill McKibben calls out consumer greed to be the main offender of environmental damage. Diana Lind, a more recent author, pitches ideas that support the …show more content…

In his article, “The American Forests,” John Muir describes the issues with the Timber and Stone Act of 1878. According to Muir,
The trees are felled, and about half of each giant is left on the ground to be converted into smoke and ashes; the better half is sawed into choice lumber and sold to citizens of the United States or to foreigners: thus robbing the country of its glory and impoverishing it without right benefit to anybody,—a bad, black business from beginning to end (Muir).
About sixty years later, the farming industry took to harsh business tactics, resulting in chemical-heavy farming practices. Environmentalist Wendell Berry refers to the groups of farmers who use the practices as “agri-industrialists,” and their farms as “factories” in his essay, “Being Kind to the Land.” The factories described by Berry can be distinguished by four characteristics,
1. They depend entirely on industrial machinery and chemicals.
2. They depend entirely on industrial machinery and chemicals, which is why they are temporary. While we still depend on them, they are already

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