Uncle Sam and Mother Earth

Tackling environmental challenges from the local level to climate change requires an effective understanding of the environmental process.

Uncle Sam and Mother Earth examines our national environmental laws and how they are implemented.  The author uses his 30 years of federal experience to offer fresh insights into how imperfect people and government agencies carry out their environmental responsibilities.  He mixes his Washington involvement with the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, aircraft noise, renewable energy, and other areas with firsthand accounts of local environmental activism, including opposition to nuclear power and the production of Alberta tar sands.

The story’s synthesis of issues and events offers a work that is unique in both content and outlook.  At the heart of the story are people.  The book traces the leadership of the modern environment movement from Rachel Carson in the 1960s to leaders such as Stewart Brand, Gaylord Nelson, Bill Ruckelshaus, Al Gore, and Bill McKibben.  As these individuals show, people can be effective whether they work inside or outside of government.  But they also show that effective environmental advocacy is synonymous with knowing more about the environmental process and how the federal government carries out its responsibilities.

Unusual, entertaining, revealing, and forward-looking, Uncle Sam and Mother Earth speaks to what people have done and can do to protect the environment and turn things around.  We can no longer afford to be bystanders.  To be effective, we must understand the process of government and the available opportunities to strengthen the environmental laws and policies that insure a safe, healthy, and livable world.

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