Early Environmentalism

he ravages committed by man subvert the relations and destroy the balance which nature had established between her organized and her inorganic creations; and she avenges herself upon the intruder, by letting loose upon her defaced provinces destructive energies hitherto kept in check by organic forces destined to be his best auxiliaries, but which he has unwisely dispersed and driven from the field of action. When the forest is gone, the great reservoir of moisture stored up in its vegetable mould is evaporated, and returns only in deluges of rain to wash away the parched dust into which that mould has been converted. The well-wooded and humid hills are turned to ridges of dry rock, which encumbers the low grounds and chokes the watercourses with its debris, and–except in countries favored with an equable distribution of rain through the seasons, and a moderate and regular inclination of surface–the whole earth, unless rescued by human art from the physical degradation to which it tends, becomes an assemblage of bald mountains, of barren, turfless hills, and of swampy and malarious plains. There are parts of Asia Minor, of Northern Africa, of Greece, and even of Alpine Europe, where the operation of causes set in action by man has brought the face of the earth to a desolation almost as complete as that of the moon; and though, within that brief space of time which we call 'the historical period,' they are known to have been covered with luxuriant woods, verdant pastures, and fertile meadows, they are now too far deteriorated to be reclaimable by man, nor can they become again fitted for human use, except through great geological changes, or other mysterious influences or agencies of which we have no present knowledge, and over which we have no prospective control. The earth is fast becoming an unfit home for its noblest inhabitant, and another era of equal human crime and human improvidence, and of like duration with that through which traces of that crime and that improvidence extend, would reduce it to such a condition of impoverished productiveness, of shattered surface, of climatic excess, as to threaten the depravation, barbarism, and perhaps even extinction of the species.


A scientist sees the damage being done by man to the environment with amazing prescience.

Folksonomies: environmentalism

/law, govt and politics/government (0.188068)
/science/weather (0.154246)
/business and industrial/energy/oil (0.147264)

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scientist:JobTitle (0.680555 (neutral:0.000000)), Asia Minor:PrintMedia (0.642240 (neutral:0.000000)), Alpine Europe:Region (0.619026 (neutral:0.000000)), Greece:Country (0.564729 (neutral:0.000000)), Northern Africa:Country (0.561269 (neutral:0.000000))

Africa (0.910064): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Earth (0.884298): dbpedia | freebase
Climate (0.782274): dbpedia | freebase
Precipitation (0.633969): dbpedia | freebase
Natural environment (0.596240): dbpedia | freebase
World population (0.560788): website | dbpedia | freebase
Destroy (0.560525): dbpedia
Humidity (0.555660): dbpedia | freebase

 Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Marsh , George Perkins (1864), Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action, Retrieved on 2012-06-12
  • Source Material [books.google.com]
  • Folksonomies: nature