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“Ecological Crisis, The Historical Roots of Our”

Lynn White, Jr.'s (1907–87) “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis,” published in 1967, triggered controversy by connecting rampant environmental destruction globally with the linking of Western science and technology and the Latin branch of the Judeo-Christian heritage that grants humans dominion over nature. The piece, coming as it did during the rise of the environmental movement in the late 1960s, set off a debate that still simmers today.

Tracing the history of the world's ecological crisis requires connecting dots that relate human activities and values that comprise the sociocultural system's patterned activities. White focused on the relationship of religion, science, and technology as factors in environmental degradation. His contribution to the growing environmental literature added a cultural dimension to our understanding of ecological history. Consciously ...

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