John Muir’s birthday is today. This is the first of three days corresponding to the three phases of the environmental movement.
Muir is the arch-activist for this “conservation” phase. “Saving” Yosemite is the arch-typical action.
The three phases, with their arch-activists are:
- Conservation, John Muir (birthday April 21), starting around 1890
- Pollution, Rachel Carson (Earth Day April 22), starting around 1970
- Climate Change, Bill McKibben (April 23), starting around 2005
Rachel Carson and Bill McKibben were, like Elizabeth Kolbert, who just won a Pulitzer Prize for The Sixth Extinction, writers for the New Yorker whose activism expanded beyond writing.