Rothman 3

Discussion for argument paper--when the experts disagree how do you decide which side to believe?

better active today than radioactive tomorrow
In 1960, what kind of protection was there for the environment?
Something dramatic happened in the 10 years or so around 1970
This new public opinion was very confusing for the government agencies that looked after natural land.  Some of this was land that was publically owned, but there was also a government role affecting private land.

Private ownership is not total control of land--for example, in the U.S. wildlife is publically owned
button style fishing licence from 1938
Public Lands
firefall at

Park Service:
anti-Forest Service cartoon--trees all cut
We will look more at the Forest Service next time, but Rothman stresses:
Bureau of Land Management
old BLM sealnew blm seal
Notice the different messages of the old and new agency emblems--the old shows a surveyor, a logger, an oil worker, a cowboy, and a miner

Bureau of Reclamation:
People were beginning to see quality of life (living in a pleasant environment) as important even when it conflicted with economic growth and progress
Long-term planning by government agencies came to be seen not as professional wisdom but as serving commercial interests--agencies eventually responded by trying to respond to public opinion, much weakening scientific planning

This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
Hist 124
last updated 11/9/09