Protection of the Environment

June 19, 1968

Report Outline
Rising Concern Over Man's Environment
Shape of Threats to the Environment
Action Aimed to Protect Environment

Rising Concern Over Man's Environment

A multi-nation effort to tackle what is potentially the most serious of all problems facing mankind—deterioration of the human environment—is slowly getting into gear. The International Biological Program, to which 55 nations have pledged cooperation, is short on funds but long on hope that scientists all over the globe, working together or in complementary endeavors, will find a way to rescue the earth from the depredations of man before those depredations threaten his very survival. American scientists in the program are particularly interested in the environment-protection phase of the program because the United States, as the richest and most technologically advanced nation, does the lion's share of the contaminating.

Even as scientists began to draw up their I.B.P. study plans, they realized that, no matter how successful their studies, no good would result unless people and their governments became sufficiently concerned to take the steps necessary to maintain the earth's natural hospitality to man. The United States has been slow to move against the mounting menace. As Walter R. Hibbard Jr., director of the U. S. Bureau of Mines, said recently: “We respond to alarms only when the house is already on fire.”

Results of Tardy Reaction to Pollution Abuses

It took the killer smogs of Los Angeles and then New York to force action against the menace of airborne pollutants whose toxic effects were known before the situation became critical. Lake Erie “died” as a medium for living organisms before serious attention was given to protecting the Great Lakes. Recent federal anti-pollution legislation was enacted only after contamination of air, soil and waterways had become serious and widespread. Scientists and conservationists had been warning for many years that this would be the result if the abuses continued. Now, however, there appears to be growing appreciation within the United States and other advanced nations of the need for a broader, preventive approach to protection of the environment.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Environmental Protection
Mar. 17, 2023  Forever Chemicals
Sep. 02, 2022  Preserving the Seas
Jun. 17, 2022  Plastic Pollution
Dec. 17, 2021  Endangered Species
Nov. 06, 2020  Preventing Wildfires
Jul. 10, 2020  Circular Economy
Nov. 29, 2019  Climate Change and Health
Sep. 20, 2019  Extreme Weather
Dec. 07, 2018  Plastic Pollution
Dec. 02, 2016  Arctic Development
Apr. 22, 2016  Managing Western Lands
Jul. 18, 2014  Regulating Toxic Chemicals
Sep. 20, 2013  Future of the Arctic
Jun. 14, 2013  Climate Change
Nov. 06, 2012  Vanishing Biodiversity
Nov. 02, 2012  Managing Wildfires
Nov. 04, 2011  Managing Public Lands
Aug. 26, 2011  Gulf Coast Restoration
Jul. 2010  Plastic Pollution
Feb. 2010  Climate Change
Jan. 09, 2009  Confronting Warming
Dec. 05, 2008  Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
Nov. 2008  Carbon Trading
Oct. 03, 2008  Protecting Wetlands
Feb. 29, 2008  Buying Green
Dec. 14, 2007  Future of Recycling
Nov. 30, 2007  Disappearing Species
Feb. 2007  Curbing Climate Change
Dec. 01, 2006  The New Environmentalism
Jan. 27, 2006  Climate Change
Oct. 25, 2002  Bush and the Environment
Oct. 05, 2001  Invasive Species
Nov. 05, 1999  Saving Open Spaces
Jun. 11, 1999  Saving the Rain Forests
May 21, 1999  Setting Environmental Priorities
Mar. 19, 1999  Partisan Politics
Oct. 16, 1998  National Forests
Jun. 19, 1998  Environmental Justice
Aug. 23, 1996  Cleaning Up Hazardous Wastes
Mar. 31, 1995  Environmental Movement at 25
Jun. 19, 1992  Lead Poisoning
May 15, 1992  Jobs Vs. Environment
Jan. 17, 1992  Oil Spills
Sep. 20, 1991  Saving the Forests
Apr. 26, 1991  Electromagnetic Fields: Are They Dangerous?
Sep. 08, 1989  Free Market Environmental Protection
Dec. 09, 1988  Setting Environmental Priorities
Jul. 29, 1988  Living with Hazardous Wastes
Dec. 20, 1985  Requiem for Rain Forests?
Aug. 17, 1984  Protecting the Wilderness
Jun. 15, 1984  Troubled Ocean Fisheries
Aug. 19, 1983  America's Disappearing Wetlands
Feb. 22, 1980  Noise Control
Nov. 16, 1979  Closing the Environmental Decade
Oct. 13, 1978  Toxic Substance Control
Feb. 27, 1976  Pollution Control: Costs and Benefits
Nov. 28, 1975  Forest Policy
May 30, 1975  Wilderness Preservation
Dec. 20, 1974  Environmental Policy
Nov. 14, 1973  Strip Mining
Dec. 01, 1971  Global Pollution
Jul. 21, 1971  Protection of the Countryside
Jan. 06, 1971  Pollution Technology
Jun. 19, 1968  Protection of the Environment
Oct. 30, 1963  Noise Suppression
Air Pollution
Water Pollution