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by Patrick Allitt
Allitt offers a readable account that will provoke and displease many environmentalists. Few of the issues facing the nation — from overpopulation in the 1950s to air and water pollution in the ’60s to genetically modified foods in the ’90s to climate change today — warranted the accompanying moods of crisis, which were “usually disproportionate to the actual danger involved.” Most problems were manageable, but they were exaggerated due to media sensationalism, environmental scientists seeking recognition, the needs of a growing environmental establishment and the beneficial effects of crises on environmental groups’ memberships. … Highly politicized issues pitted critics, who viewed green advocates as selfish elitists, against environmentalists who saw opponents as cynical and greedy.
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