Chapter 2.23

Who Knew?

Planning, Entrepreneur,  November 2007.

By Richard H. Carson

For us baby boomers, the environmental movement of the late 1960s was based in part on a core belief in self-sufficiency, A lot of us read publications like the Foxfire series that advocated for a simpler life, where people would live in a rural setting, raise livestock, grow their own food, reuse their waste, and even generate their own energy.

In the old days, there was no talk of global warming. We were more afraid of the eminent threat of a nuclear winter and the population bomb. Overpopulation is still a major concern. But now the nuclear threat has been reduced from global super powers to a couple of third world countries.

The irony is how the environmental movement was reborn after almost coming to a standstill in the Reagan years. While the movement was withering in America, it was flourishing on a global level. In 1987, the World Commission on Environment and Development first coined the word "sustainable development," and the publication of the report, Our Common Future, laid out the new international understanding that "sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

As a boomer, I am content to know that what we started in our generation has blossomed into a globally accepted idea. Who knew?

Richard Carson, Community Development Director
Clark County, Washington

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Common Sense
by Richard H. Carson