Over the past thirty years, an astonishingly diverse set of issues has been addressed under the umbrella of the environmental movement. In Speaking of Earth, Alon Tal brings together twenty path-breaking speeches by leading environmentalists around the world that highlight the range of topics that have caught the attention of activists and inspired ecological movements. Included among the selections are Rachel Carson's defense of her eye-opening book Silent Spring, Prince Charles's passionate call for sustainable agriculture, and the Dalai Lama's presention of a path to ecological harmony. Appeals for action by Chico Mendes, the martyr of the Amazonian rainforest, are presented alongside Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai's vision of afforestation for Africa. Housewife hero Lois Gibbs's speech to Congress about the toxic pollution at Love Canal joins legendary Norwegian anthropologist-sailor Thor Heyerdahl's call to save the oceans at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Each speech is annotated with a brief biography of the speaker and an accessible analysis of the particular environmental challenge that engaged them. The message that emerges is diverse, compelling, and passionate. The evolution of the world's environmental movement during the past-half century is articulated through the words of fervent individuals that launched a global transformation. Offering a refreshing summary of the depth and breadth of modern environmentalism, this book will be of interest to activists, students, professionals, and scholars alike.
Alon Tal is a professor of environmental policy at Ben Gurion University in Israel and a visiting professor of law at Otago University in New Zealand. He is the founder of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and the Israel Union for Environmental Defense. His previous book is Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel.