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Douglas Brinkley and America's third environmental revolution

2022 has been one of the worst years on record for America’s National Parks. Wildfires in New Mexico destroyed more than 500 square miles of land, Hurricane Ian devastated protected mangroves in southwest Florida, and mudslides made parts of California wilderness unnavigable.

Politicians are helping or hindering attempts to address the challenges of climate change. Presidential historian Douglas Brinkley believes they could learn from the environmental movement of more than 50 years ago.

He reflects on this history and the movement’s leaders in his new book, “Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening.”

Over 800 pages, Brinkley details how presidents, Republican and Democrat, were able to achieve compromises and enact critical legislation protecting America’s waterways, the air we breathe, and species threatened by rapid urban development.

We speak with Douglas and meet Robert G. Stanton, the first Black director of the National Park Service, a lifelong civil servant with the agency.

Copyright 2022 WAMU 88.5

Chris Remington knew he wanted to work in public radio beginning in middle school, as WHYY played in his car rides to and from school in New Jersey. He’s freelanced for All Things Considered and was a desk associate for CBS Radio News in New York City. Most recently, he was producing for Capital Public Radio’s Insight booking guests, conducting research and leading special projects at Sacramento’s NPR affiliate.
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