Issue of the Year: The Environment

Tim Boyle / Getty

Shoulder-high stalks are seen in a corn field.

THE astonishing achievement of the year," says Ecologist Lamont Cole of Cornell, "is that people are finally aware of the size of the problem." They can hardly avoid it. In 1970, the cause that once concerned lonely crusaders like Rachel Carson became a national issue that at times verged on a national obsession; it appealed even to people normally enraged by attacks on the status quo. With remarkable rapidity it became a tenet in the American credo, at least partially uniting disparate public figures ranging from Cesar...

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