Historical Roots of Sustainability (post-1960)
The pre-1960 roots of sustainability are derived from the progressive conservation era in the United States at the turn of the 20th century. The term of sustainability first came from European forestry and created some of the first building blocks that led to our understanding of sustainability as we see it today. Sustainability evolved through progressive conservation into ecological thinking and environmentalism, and finally to a refined idea of sustainability.
This content focuses on the post progressive conservation time period. Figures such as Rachel Carson, Paul Ehrlich, Herman Daly and many more influential people are found amongst the following references. The process of ascertaining the data and understanding that has led us to our understanding of sustainability can be found in the years following 1960. Furthermore, this is the period where we the the Environmental Moment, where public outrage, public policy, collective action, regulations, and new levels of understanding coalesced to advance the idea of what has become sustainability today.
(CC Image of Rachel Carson courtesy of USFWS Headquarters on Flickr)