The American Experience: Season 22, Episode 5

Earth Days (19 Apr. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | History
7.1
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Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s.

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Title: Earth Days (19 Apr 2010)

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Episode credited cast:
...
Himself - Creator of the Whole Earth Catalog / Internet Pioneer / Advisor to California Gov. Jerry Brown, 1977-1979
Hunter Lovins ...
Herself - Sustainable development pioneer
Pete McCloskey ...
Himself - Republican U.S. Congressman, 1967-1983 / Co-Chair of Earth Day, 1970 / Co-author of The Endangered Species Act, 1973
Dennis Meadows ...
Himself - Co-author of 'The Limits to Growth', 1972
Stewart L. Udall ...
Himself - U.S. Secretary of the Interior, 1961-1969
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Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s.

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19 April 2010 (USA)  »

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Where is the middle ground?! Where is the balance?!
19 March 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

I felt really irritated by this particular episode of "The American Experience". Now this is not to say I hate the series--it's one of the best things on television for the past two decades plus. But this specific one bothered me because it often seemed to take a very black/white look at environmentalism. In other words, corporations, energy companies, etc. are all bad and environmentalists are 100% right. Environmentalism is an issue with clear choices all the time, however. Corporations, in my view, are neither good nor bad--and the same can be said about environmentalists. Clearly, both can be very good. On the pro side for environmentalism, because I am middle-aged, I remember just how god-awful the air was back in the 60s and 70s. Too often during our summers, we were told not to go outside because the air was too polluted--and the skies were, at times, yellow-green!! I also remember when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire and the Potomac River and Lake Erie were considered dead. So, environmental law and advances clearly were needed. As a result, today, things are radically different--with the Potomac and Erie both considered among the premier fishing spots in America and the air is amazingly healthy. BUT, and this is the point that annoys me about the environmentalists in this show, the doom and gloom predictions about our future have been shown to be HIGHLY over-stated. And, as a result, a lot of folks feel we have a Chicken Little mentality--where EVERYTHING is supposedly going to kill us and we must act now--no thinking, no discussion and no debate. That is what bothered me so much about "Earth Days". No apologies for the over-stated predictions of gloom and no middle...and fuel companies are evil, want profit (how dare they!) and hate our planet! I'd sure love to see another stab at this topic by "The American Experience"--one that acknowledges advances, shortcomings and points out that there is genuine disagreement--and neither side is evil! I won't hold my breath, however.


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