Are Cars the Ultimate Myth of Individual Choice?

One of historian Lewis Mumford’s many complaints about modern society was that compulsory action often posed as freedom of choice. In his 1970 book The Pentagon of Power, for example, he marveled at the free-loving, drug-taking, war-protesting hippies at Woodstock, who believed they were defying society’s expectations by acting out against the establishment. He thought…

The Wetlands Shall Rise Again!

The English language has not been kind to wetlands. We have swamps, bogs, quagmires, mires, and morasses. These are not words that call to mind productive landscapes. Such terms describe wet or inundated natural areas but they also double as metaphors for being stuck—-being bogged down, swamped with work, in a tangled morass of problems,…

Roundtable: Quagmire

Vietnam and “the environment” seem to go hand in hand.  After all, the experience of the Vietnam War is a fundamental chapter in most narratives of the rise of global environmental consciousness.  The environmental movement of the 1960s and early 1970s shared many of the same participants with the movement against the Vietnam War.  Some…