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Some of the first laws protecting the remaining forests are decreed in Ur, Messopotamia. (Grove, 1995).
Deforestation leads to collapse of communities in southern Israel / Jordan. (Grove, 1995).
Hero of Alexandria experiments with solar powered pumps.
— Cloaca Maxima (big sewer) is built in Rome by Etruscan dynasty of Tarquins. As Rome grows, a networks of cloacae (sewers) and aquaducts are built.
— Forest Code introduced in France aimed at regulating wood production for the Navy.
Marco Polo, the Italian traveler, notices black rocks that burn on his journey through China.
Thomas More of England writes Utopia, a vision of human perfection and attainment. Moore mentions kindness toward animals and the abolition of animal sacrifice and sport hunting as signs of the moral advancement of the citizens of his fictitious Utopia.
Rapid industrialization in England leads to heavy deforestation and increasing substitution of coal for wood.
US Mineral Leasing Act opens up rich deposits on federal lands for token rental fees.
Thomas Midgley of General Motors demonstrates car powered by 30 percent alcohol-gasoline blend at Indianapolis SAE meeting
Wendell Berry born. In books like Culture and Agriculture, Berry has chronicled the decline of small farms in the United States and its spiritual and environmental impact on the nation.
First of the Dust Bowl storms begin in the Midwest. Margaret Bourke-White writes in The Nation:
St. Louis adopts first strict smoke control ordinance in U.S. Meanwhile, St. Louis Post Dispatch wins first Pulitzer Prize for environmental reporting. The Pulitzer committee cites the Dispatch “For its successful campaign against the smoke nuisance.”
US drops atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Nature Conservancy formed Oct. 22. By the year 2000, the conservancy has 900,000 members and has protected 10 millioin acres
Poza Rica killer smog incident leaves 22 dead, hundreds hospitalized in Mexico. The killer smog was caused by gas fumes from an oil refinery.
Renewable energy could power 80% of the world by 2050, according to the UN-affiliated International Renewable Energy Agency. The report follows other studies of the potential for renewable energy, including a study published in Energy Policy in January 2011. Many regions, nations and states began setting renewable energy goals and policies, including 30% renewables for California by 2020 and 20% renewables for Europe by 2020.
Hungarian toxic dam break kills seven — Hungary declares state of emergency after an industrial dam breaks, killing seven people and spilling about one million cubic meters of toxic waste from an aluminum production plant near Devecser.
Earth Day is a bust in the US, with far fewer communities participating and perhaps one quarter of the news articles being written than only a few years before. As usual, when concerns about the environment dip dramatically, other concerns are at work: in this case, the Boston Marathon bombing.
People’s Climate March
Solar photovoltaic powered airplane, the SolarImpulse, completes global circumnavigation.
— Angry protests break out over loose coal ash in Port Augusta in south central Australia.
–Colonial Governor William Penn requires Pennsylvania settlers to preserve one acre of trees for every five acres cleared.
Kaiser Joseph II of Germany banned animal baiting for sport.
Massachusetts bans the hunting of robins and horned larks, both popular foods, as a conservation measure.
British River Pollution Control Act makes it illegal to dump sewage into a stream.
France, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands agree to protect Rhine River from pollution in Berne Accord.
Congress passes Hazardous Waste Transportation Act
Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act passes US Congress, forbidding ocean dumping of plastic materials.
Japan vows to shut down drift net fishing, a decision seen as a major victory by marine conservation groups.
The dodo is extinct. (approximate date). See Sixth Extinction web site. BBC Witness program on the dodo extinction.
The New York state assembly closes the hunting season on the heath hen. The species is extinct by the early 1900s.
First gas lights introduced in London by the Gas Light & Coke Co, charterd despite opposition by Boulton & Watt steam manufacturerer. This “town gas” or manufactured gas would be used in every major US and European city, but residual coal tar would remain an environmental problem well into the 21st century.
— Norway tracks first signs of acid rain on its western coast (Mongillo, 2001)
upertanker Braer spills 26 million gallons of crude oil in the Hebrides islands
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