Environment: Endangered Earth Update Now Wait Just a Minute

Naysayers dispute the forecasts of doom and gloom

Since the dawn of the Green movement, critics have argued that environmentalists exaggerate the dangers that humans pose to planet earth and understate the resilience of nature. Historically, the naysayers have had a key influence on policy: they weakened the original Clean Air and Clean Water acts, and Reagan officials James Watt and Anne Burford nearly destroyed the Environmental Protection Agency. But a worsening environment has put the naysayers on the defensive as they struggle to explain ever dirtier air, moribund forests and lakes, oil spills, desertification and the ozone holes over the poles.

Still, while the critics may be down,...

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