Document Type

General Interest Article


The American public has become aware of environment. Our world view has suddenly changed to recognize that our resources are limited and that we live in a closed compartment of destiny with all mankind. This new world view is most graphically dramatized by man's space travels. We have seen pictures of spaceship earth. We have seen proof that our ecological system is a closed one. Aside from solar energy, there are no significant inputs or outputs of energy, resources, or wastes. This new world view has far reaching effects. Our earlier world view, particularly in the United States, was one of unlimited resources and opportunities. Nurtured by a frontier spirit, we believed that there were always new areas to be conquered. Air, water, and other natural resources were considered inexhaustible. If one area became spoiled, there were always new areas to be discovered and developed. Now we know that this earlier world view is not, if it ever was, valid. Man and all other life must exist within earth's recycling ecology. There are no passengers on spaceship earth, only crew. With this new world view, great public pressures are building for pollution abatement. The American public seems willing to devote the resources and efforts need to begin to deal with environmental preservation. Significant steps are being taken to devise and implement laws and regulations to protect and restore our environment. Unfortunately, however, the new world view has also created an escalation in rhetoric.

Publication Date

December 1972

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science





First Page


Last Page



©1972 Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.



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