7The Politics of Sustainability

Introduction

It can sometimes be a struggle to understand why environmentalism and sustainability are such hot-button political issues. It is difficult to understand why safe air, water, and land should be a subject of political controversy, but this story is not new. In the 1970s, during the early environmental movement, public managers, policy experts, and students of environmental politics were working to understand the root causes of the environmental problem and trying to help the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as it tried to create policies and programs to address the problem. People involved in this work wanted to understand why rivers were on fire, toxics were oozing out of the ground, ...

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