13 Sep '11, 3am

Enfants terribles of the environment hit middle age

Enfants terribles of the environment hit middle age

PARIS - We sort our rubbish. We recycle our rainwater. We worry about depleted oceans, ravaged rainforests, threatened species. If we fly abroad, buy a car, crank up the heating or air-conditioning - or even purchase bottled water - we may think about how we add to the greenhouse effect. These reflexes are now anchored among consumers in many parts of the world. Yet 40 years ago, when environmentalism was limited to a tribe of academics and quirky visionaries, such actions would have triggered bewilderment, even a laugh. Back then, whales were slaughtered commercially on a massive scale. France and China conducted nuclear tests in the atmosphere. People sprayed their armpits with deodorants that gobbled up Earth's ozone layer. Oil was so cheap that the term "gas guzzler" had not even been invented, any more than "carbon footprint." Yet it was also in September 1971 that th...

Full article: http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/World/Story/A1...

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