The below is an excerpt from Dave Newport's Department of Change blog.
Director of the Environmental Center
University of Colorado-Boulder
The transition from an exploitive business plan for the planet to a sustainable one has gone through a few iterations—and we are definitely not there yet—but we keep trying.
In the 1950s public health concerns on the heels of the Donora, PA et al air pollution incidents aroused enough angst to pass the first federal laws protective of air quality. The 1960s were marked by Rachel Carson-induced endangered species protections. The 1970s spawned “past sins” Superfund legislation to begin cleaning up/preventing the Love Canals of the world. In the 1980s we fixed the ozone hole. And in the 1990s, “sustainability” began creeping into our lexicon.