The history of environmental protection

Today you can’t throw a stone without hitting someone talking about the importance of environmental protection, the dangers of pollution and global warming. Of course just because we are talking about does not mean that we are closer to solving the problem but it is a step into the right direction.

These issues are well known, but this wasn’t always the case.

But what is environmental protection?

 It is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations and governments. Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends.

The American conversation about protecting the environment began in the 1960s.  Rachel Carson had published her attack on the indiscriminate use of pesticides, Silent Spring, in 1962.  Concern about air and water pollution had spread in the wake of disasters.  An offshore oil rig in California fouled beaches with millions of gallons of spilled oil. Near Cleveland, Ohio, the Cuyahoga River, choking with chemical contaminants, had spontaneously burst into flames.  Astronauts had begun photographing the Earth from space, heightening awareness that the Earth’s resources are finite.

In early 1970, as a result of heightened public concerns about deteriorating city air, natural areas littered with debris, and urban water supplies contaminated with dangerous impurities, all of this led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

In the European Union Environmental protection has become an important task for the institutions of the European Community after the Maastricht Treaty for the European Union ratification by all of its member states in 1992 .
The EU is active in the field of environmental policy, issuing directives such as those on enviromental impact assessment and on access to enviromental information for citizens in the member states.

In this article I focused on the role of governments in environmental protection but we must not forget that it is the responsibility of all the people.

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