John Sebastian On Stage at Woodstock 1969. Credit Henry Diltz/Michael Lang
The Woodstock-era environmentalists set the stage for the green movement today. These green visionaries have kept up a vocal attack, approaching heavy-hitting topics like global warming, population growth, renewable energy and nature conservation. From American Entomologist Paul R. Ehrlich, who published The Population Bomb in 1968 to James Lovelock, best known for the Gaia hypothesis, find out who is living on a tugboat in California and who is now writing for TreeHugger in Where are they now: 10 Green Visionaries from the Woodstock Era. Plus, read more of our Woodstock 40th anniversary tribute here.
1. James Lovelock: Gaia Theorists' year 2100 Forecast
Gaia Theorist James Lovelock. Credit Bruno Comby Creative Commons
James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis theory that all complex interacting systems making up the planet can be viewed as one organism, has worked on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons and is an advocate of nuclear power. Today Lovelock lives in Cornwall, England, works out of his barn-turned-laboratory, and rallies for nuclear power, believing only it can halt global warming. He believes the situation is dire, and that 90% of the human population will be killed off by 2100 due to the effect of rising temperatures.
2. Paul R. Ehrlich: Still Too Many People
American entomologist Paul Ralph Ehrlich's love for the butterfly propelled him to fame in 1968 with the book The Population Bomb. Today, Ehrlich can be found at Stanford University where he is the Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of Biological Sciences. Ehrlich still believes that overpopulation is a major environmental crisis and that technological advances will not save the planet. Yale Environment 360 takes a deeper look in Too Many People,
Too Much Consumption.
3. Frances Moore Lappé: Diet for a Growing Planet
Francis Moore Lappé at Be the Change. Credit Be The Change
Social activist, Frances Moore Lappé published Diet for a Small Planet, which presented revolutionary ideas on the mass consumption of food and encouraged and set the groundwork for vegetarianism in 1971, and has since become a three-million-copy bestseller still relevant today. She continues to write, with her most recent book in 2007, Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage in a World Gone Mad, and was recently interviewed by her son Anthony Lappé, a NY-based journalist and producer, for New York Magazine. Lappé also founded The Small Planet Institute in 2001 in pursuit of living democracy.
4. Ralph Nader: The Consumer Advocate
Political activist Ralph Nader made news as a potential presidential candidate in 1972 when he was offered the opportunity to run for the New Party. Using commerce-based climate solutions as a political lever, Nader was ahead of the curve, and dedicated to educating the public on ecology, specifically the contamination levels in the United States' rivers, lakes and waterways in these years. As a four-time candidate for the presidency, including 1996 and 2000 for the Green Party, Nader has stayed in the news with the 2008 presidential election. Today Nader, in his mid-seventies, continues to be a consumer advocate and appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill May 21, 2009 to testify on the auto industry's effect on bankruptcy in the US.
5. Jane Goodall: Founded Youth Group Roots & Shoots
English Conservationist and Anthropologist Dr. Jane Goodall has been known since the Woodstock days for her work with chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. Goodall continued on to found the Jane Goodall Institute, along with the Roots & Shoots Youth Group, and became a UN Messenger of Peace. Today Jane Goodall is in her mid-seventies, and suffers from prosopagnosia, a neurological condition which impairs the recognition of human faces. She has an upcoming appearance at WILD9, the World Wilderness Congress (WWC), this year on November 6, where she will give the keynote address.