When, and from where, did “modern” environmentalist thought come from? Rachel Carson? Aldo Leopold? Go back further, and let Thoreau claim the mantle? Hippies in the 60s who were fighting for civil rights? In Arming Mother Nature: the birth of Catastrophic Environmentalism Hamblin convincingly argues that World War II and Cold War planning by the Pentagon helped popularize “environmentalist” thinking across the US and NATO ally states. The devastation of war and prospective devastation-to-come from plagues or atomic conflict acutely put the vulnerability of humanity, enmeshed in natural systems, on the radar of policy and war planners as well as broader publics. Hamblin tracks over 50 years of evolving “environmentalist” thought through policy reports, advertisements, speeches, and other jaw-dropping historical documents, shocking at times for various reasons.
This is an absolutely fascinating read any student of environmental studies, history, or political science ought to pick up in short order.
Review Submitted by: Shane D. Hall
Rating: Highly Recommended