Rothman preface and intro

what environmental history might help us deal with current environmental issues?
vote the
                  environment t shirt
Another kind of history:
What is the role of government?
Rothman's ideas:
We have contradictory expectations--we want prosperity but we don't like some of the consequences
Where does the modern environmental movement start?
The new power of technology came both from individual new technologies (atom bomb) and also a new belief in the effectiveness of research

Example of the effectiveness of research: Radar and the proximity fuse:

 radar set on airplane

 antiaircraft fire
The Proximity Fuse But the strongest example was the atomic bomb:
Difficulties setting up such a big, uncertain research and development project

 K-25 gaseous diffusion plant at Oak Ridg, photo from

 Bombs used in Japan, photo from
 The decision to drop the bomb

( good links on the decision )

 bomb damage in Hiroshima, photo from
So the power of technology also raised questions, particularly in concerns about nuclear fallout
not just wise use:
the question for the future is how much risk to our health and safety are we willing to tolerate for the sake of wealth?

This page written and copyright Pamela E. Mack
Hist 124
last updated 3/26/10