Douglas Brinkley and America's third environmental revolution
2022 has been one of the worst years on record for America’s National Parks. Wildfires in New Mexico destroyed more than 500 square miles of land, Hurricane Ian devastated protected mangroves in southwest Florida, and mudslides made parts of California wilderness unnavigable.
Politicians are helping or hindering attempts to address the challenges of climate change. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley believes they could learn from the environmental movement of more than 50 years ago.
He reflects on this history and the movement’s leaders in his new book, “Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening.”
Over 800 pages, Brinkley details how presidents, Republican and Democrat, were able to achieve compromises and enact critical legislation protecting America’s waterways, the air we breathe, and species threatened by rapid urban development.
We speak with Douglas and meet Robert G. Stanton, the firstBlack director of the National Park Service, a lifelong civil servant with the agency.
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