Great Green Beings
Rachel Carson (1907-1964)
Born in Western Pennsylvania. Marine biologist, pioneering ecologist and world changing author. Worked from 1936-1952 as a marine biologist for the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (later becoming the Fish and Wildlife Service). Her first three books explored ocean life. Her fourth book, Silent Spring, published in 1962 called attention to the threat of DDT and chemical pesticides to people, wildlife and the environment. DDT was banned due to this book's influence and soon after the Environmental Protection Agency was formed. Rachel Carson died of cancer. A moving tribute site- www.rachelcarson.org
1) Under the Sea Wind, 1941 ISBN 0-14-025380-7
2) The Sea Around Us, 1951 ISBN 0-19-506997-8
3) The Edge of the Sea, 1955 ISBN 0-395-92496-0
4) Silent Spring, 1962 ISBN 0-618-24906-0
Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Charles David Keeling (April 20 1928 - June 20 2005)
Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Charles David Keeling developed the first instrument to measure carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and started taking regular measurements on Mauna Loa in Hawaii, two miles above sea level in 1958. Measurements have been recorded to date, and the plotted out graph of his records, the longest continuous record of CO2 in the world, have become samples the carbon dioxide level was 315 parts per million and by 2008 they were up to 385 ppm. The graph also displays seasonal zig zag due to the effect of the Northern Hemisphere's vegetation cycles of growth and decay. During his life Keeling also started measuring CO2 in samples of seawater and successfully lobbied for a larger joint study which is in operation today. Keeling worked with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, from 1956 until his death in 2005.
1) "Rewards and Penalties of Monitoring the Earth."
Annual Review of Energy and the Environment. Keeling, Charles D. (1998).
Can be read at: scrippsco2.ucsd.edu/autobiography.pdf
2) Mauna Loa Records can be viewed at: scrippsco2.ucsd.edu
James E. Hansen, Born March 29, 1941
Born in Denison, Iowa. Dr Hansen was one of the first scientists to warn of the effects of Global Warming and has testified numerous times before Congress in this regard starting in the 1980's. Currently heads the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and is a professor at Columbia university. He is internationally famous for being one of the first scientists to raise a broad awareness of the global warming issue. Dr. Hansen is currently attempting to halt the building of coal powered electricity plants that do not have carbon sequestration capabilities.
Publications by James E. Hansen can be found at: pubs.giss.nasa.gov and www.columbia.edu Photo: NASA.
Aldo Leopold (January 11, 1887 – April 21, 1948)
Born in Burlington, Iowa. An ecologist, forester, teacher, author and environmentalist. The father of modern environmental ethics. He founded the movement for wilderness preservation and wildlife management. His book, A Sand County Almanac, introduced the concept of a "land ethic" and was read by, and effected millions. The Almanac combines a keen awareness of philosophy, observation and care for, and harmony with the environment.
1) A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There,
first published in 1949 by Oxford University Press, New York.
For more info and list of more books,
James Lovelock, Born July 26 1919
Born in Hertfordshire, England. The developer of the Gaia Theory which proclaims the Earth itself as a living organism, incorporating numerous self-regulating feedback systems. Dr. Lovelock was the first to measure CFCs in the atmosphere. He has modelled and predicted global change and has projected potentially serious impacts including mass migrations. He is a proponent of nuclear energy and believes it can help deter global warming.
1) Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, first published 1979 by Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-286218-9.
He is the author of many books and over 200 scientific papers.
Photo: Bruno Comby.
Wangari Maathai, Born April 1, 1940
Born in Kenya. Winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Environmental and woman's rights activist. Wangari Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement and started by planting 7 trees in her own backyard, today the movement has planted over 40 million trees across Kenya. Inspiration and charter member of the United Nations Billion Tree Campaign, she is affectionately known as the Tree Woman. She is hosting the 2008 Global Greens conference in Nairobi.
Autobiography, Unbowed: One Woman’s Story, Knopf, 2006.
Ian L. McHarg (November 20, 1920-March 5, 2001)
Born in the industrial city of Glasgow, Scotland. He was a proponent of reintroducing nature to cities, cluster development and using pioneered an environmentally conscious approach to land use. McHarg founded the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. From Scotland McHarg wrote to Harvard to notify them of his arrival, without ever having applied to the school. He received degrees in urban planning and landscape architecture from same.
1) Design with Nature 1969 ISBN 0-471-11460-X
2) A Quest for Life: An Autobiography 1996 ISBN 0-471-08628-2
3) To Heal the Earth: Selected Writings of Ian L. McHarg 1998
4) Dwelling in Nature: Conversations with Students 2007 ISBN 1-56898-620-3
Photo: Univ of Penn.
E.F. Schumacher (August 16, 1911 – September 4,1977)
Born in Bonn, Germany. An economist and the father of sustainability. In his landmark book, Small is Beautiful, Schumacher outlines the need for developing a sustainable lifestyle designed for permanence. While working in Asia as an economic consultant, he developed the principles of what he referred to as "Buddhist economics" which utilizes local resources for local needs and employs technology with a 'human face'. He was anti-materialist and an advocate of organic and local farming, and a champion of appropriate and people friendly technology.
1) Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered
(1973, ISBN 0-06-131778-0)
Photo: E. F. Schumacher Society; Fritz Photo.
Vandana Shiva (born November 5, 1952)
Born in Dehra Dun, India, is a physicist, ecologist, environmental activist, advisor, editor and author of many books as well as over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals. She currently directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy and founded Navdanya, a movement to preserve native agricultural biodiversity, farmer's rights and promote organic farming.
Books a sampling:
1) Staying Alive: Women, Ecology and Survival in India, 1988
2) Ecology and the Politics of Survival: Conflicts Over Natural Resources
in India, 1991, ISBN 0-8039-9672-1
3) Biopiracy: the Plunder of Nature and Knowledge,1997,
4) Stolen Harvest: The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply, 1999,
5) Breakfast of Biodiversity: the Political Ecology of Rain Forest Destruction,
2005, ISBN 0-935028-96-X
6) Earth Democracy; Justice, Sustainability, and Peace, 2005,
Photo: Cologne 2007, Elke Wetzig.
Edward O. Wilson (born June 10, 1929)
Born in Alabama. Foremost Sociobiologist and Entomoligist. Professor emeritus at Harvard. 'The' ant expert. He considers himself a field Biologist. Wilson has often eloquently stated that humans are sabotaging the Earth's ability to support its diversity of species. The recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes.
A Sampling of his 20 Books Include:
1) The Ants, 1990, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-04075-9,
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, with Bert Hölldobler.
2) The Diversity of Life, 1992, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-21298-3,
The Diversity of Life: Special Edition, ISBN 0-674-21299-1
3) Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge, 1998, Knopf, ISBN 0-679-45077-7
4) On Human Nature, 2004, Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01638-6
Photo: Jim Harrison
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