Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Historical Context

Marc Reisner
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Environmentalism

During the early 1980s, the energy of the environmental movement took a detour through the peace movement that had begun to undertake direct action against military stations and nuclear missiles. Catastrophes of the mid-1980s and the publication of books detailing the state of environmental degradation, such as the first State of the World Report in 1994, inspired new environmental awareness. The catastrophes of the mid-1980s include the worst industrial accident in history in Bhopal, India, in 1984. The Union Carbide plant exploded and a cloud of gas released from the plant killed 2,500 people. In 1986, a series of catastrophes brought environmentalism to the forefront of media concerns. The NASA Challenger Shuttle explosion reignited concerns about the deployment of space vehicles—especially those carrying radioactive materials—because they could blow up or fall down, spreading radiation over populated parts of the globe. In the Soviet Union, the nuclear meltdown...

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This section contains 481 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.